Publications & Resources

Is There a Magnet School Effect? Using Meta-Analysis to Explore Variation in Magnet School Success

Dec 2014

Jia Wang, Jonathan D. Schweig, and Joan L. Herman

Magnet schools are one of the largest sectors of choice schools in the United States. In this study, we explored whether there is heterogeneity in magnet school effects on student achievement by examining the effectiveness of 24 recently funded magnet schools in 5 school districts across 4 states. We used a two-step analysis: First, separate magnet school effects were estimated using a propensity score matched regression approach to address selection bias. Second, the magnet effects were synthesized across schools using a multi-level random-effects meta-analytic framework. Results indicated that there is significant variation in magnet school effects on student outcomes, with some magnet schools showing positive effects, and others showing negative effects. This variation can be explained by program implementation and magnet support.

Wang, J., Schweig, J. D., & Herman, J. L. (2014). Is there a magnet school effect? Using meta-analysis to explore variation in magnet school success (CRESST Report 843). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).