SUCCESSFUL MAGNET PROGRAMS SHOW POTENTIAL
The student assignment plan adopted nearly two decades ago by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system gave parents choice but at a cost.The plan increased convenience and cost savings. It made it easier for parents to be involved in their children's schools and probably helped the district hold on to a larger share of the student population in the county while other large urban districts lost students to private and charter schools.It also created a landscape of unequal schools where low-income students struggle to succeed – a problem plaguing schools around the country. The district has dedicated considerable resources to a magnet program, designed to draw advantaged students into low-income environments. While the success of the programs varies widely form one magnet school to another, at its best it seems to work.