1. State a brief history of the magnet program and a summary of research and findings done.
Magnet programs offer a theme or focus that is designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill e.g. foreign language. A magnet school may feature one or more magnet program. Briefly, magnet programs were started during the 1991-1992 school year as a voluntary desegregation plan. For example, Duval County's magnet programs are the centerpiece of the District's School Choice Program and promote diversity in our schools (http://www.magnetprograms.com/about_programs.html).
Goals of Magnet Schools and Programs:
? Promote educational excellence and offer to students with different interests, talents, and aptitudes, distinct choices that may enhance their educational success;
? Develop innovative instructional practices and promote systemic reform; and
? Promote diversity (includes racial, ethnic, economic, gender, and special needs populations) within schools (http://www.bcps.org/offices/omp/).
For the most part, research lends positive support for magnet programs, as shown in the examples below.
EXAMPLE: Research and Support for Magnet Program
FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) Programs
? Andrade, C. et al. (1989). Two languages for all children: Expanding to low achievers and the handicapped. In K. E. Muller (Ed.), "Languages in elementary schools" (pp. 177-203). New York: The American Forum.
Describes student performance in the Cincinnati Foreign Language Magnet Program. These children score well above anticipated national norms in both reading and mathematics and higher than the average of all magnet school participants, despite the fact that they represent a broad cross-section of the Cincinnati community.
? Armstrong, P.W., & Rogers, J.D. (1997). Basic skills revisited: The effects of foreign language instruction on reading, math and language arts. "Learning Languages, 2"(3), 20-31.
Presents a study that provides quantitative and qualitative evidence of the effect of foreign language education upon the basic skills of elementary students, with the hope that such evidence will provide information and assistance to parents and educators who are investigating the benefits of elementary school foreign language programs.
? Bastian, T.R. (1980). "An investigation into the effects of second language learning on achievement in English." (pp. 6176-6177). DA, 40,12-A, Pt 1. Boise, ID: University of Idaho.
Graduating high school seniors with two or more years of foreign language study showed significant superiority in performance on achievement tests in English when compared with nonforeign language students.
? Brega, E., & Newell, J.M. (1967). High-school performance of FLES and non-FLES students. "Modern Language Journal, 51," 408-411.
Compares performance of two groups of 11th grade students on MLA French examination (advanced form) in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. One group of students had begun French in Grade 7, the other group had also had 80 minutes per week of FLES beginning in Grade 3. FLES students outperformed non-FLES students in every area.
? Campbell, W.J. (1962). "Some effects of teaching foreign language in the elementary schools." NY Hicksville Public Schools.: Dec. (ERIC Document
Reproduction Service No. ED 013 022)
States a brief history of the magnet program and a summary of research and findings done.