North Carolina is one of the national leaders in a school movement that since the 1970s has promoted diversity and educational choices for families, according to a new study on magnet schools.
The study by UNC-Charlottes Urban Institute found there are 4,340 magnet schools in the U.S., and North Carolina has the sixth-most of any state at 263 schools.
Todd Mann, executive director of Magnet Schools of America, the national trade organization that commissioned the study, said North Carolina ranks even higher if you consider the quality of the states magnet schools.
Nationally people look at North Carolina as being pioneers in magnet schools and all the core things we see in magnet schools, Mann said.
Supporters tout magnet schools as being the original form of school choice since they started in the 1970s with the explicit goal of desegregating schools. School districts around the country began creating magnet schools offering specialized themes to try to attract a diverse cross-section of students at the schools, many of which were located in minority communities.
North Carolina school districts, particularly Wake, Durham and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, were among those that ...