Design and Feasibility of an Impact Study of Magnet Schools

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation

Magnet schools—public schools of choice that operate within traditional school districts and emphasize a curricular theme or instructional approach—have been promoted by school districts as important for nurturing and boosting student achievement and promoting diversity.  Mathematica will design and assess the feasibility of conducting an impact study focused on learning about magnet school effects and the features of magnet schools that are associated with successful student outcomes. Mathematica will collect information on how magnet schools recruit and admit students and, if feasible, conduct an impact evaluation using school lotteries to compare outcomes of students who win a spot in a magnet school through a lottery vs. those that do not.