Publications & Resources

A Research Synthesis of Magnet School Effect on Student Outcomes: Beyond Descriptive Studies

Mar 2018

Jia Wang, Joan L. Herman, and Daniel Dockterman

Characterized by thematic instructional programs and voluntary enrollment, magnet schools are often the result of a neighborhood schooling effort to increase racial integration and academic achievement. With the continued expansion of magnet schools, it is critical that stakeholders have a comprehensive research synthesis of their potential impact. This article reviews and aggregates findings from 18 studies that evaluate magnet schools’ influence on student outcomes. Emphasis is given to the results of lottery-based studies and those utilizing prior achievement and demographic controls. Though results across studies vary substantially, effects are generally positive, particularly for magnet secondary schools.

Wang, J., Herman, J. L., & Dockterman, D. (2018).  A research synthesis of magnet school effect on student outcomes: Beyond descriptive studies. Journal of School Choice, 12, 157-180.