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About Magnet Schools of America (MSA)

About MSA

MSA is a national nonprofit professional education association whose members are schools and school districts.  The association represents and, is a resource to, magnet schools, parents, teachers, school boards, administrators, business leaders, community organizations and institutions of higher education.

MSA is governed by a board of directors, many of whom work in, or with, magnet schools. The executive committee is comprised of the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian and Past President.

Eight geographic regions from around the United States and its territories are each represented on the board by a Regional Director. The Executive Director and staff serve in the national office based in Washington, D.C.

Distinguished and accomplished thought leaders, MSA’s six Specialized Directors advise and immerse the association with cutting edge perspectives in:

  • Racial and socio-economic diversity
  • Immersion programming
  • Civil rights
  • The latest research in the field
  • Legal analysis
  • Partnership development and more.

All of MSA’s directors have not only been catalysts for change in their own communities, they are leading a national dialogue and creating strategies for magnet schools by improving educational environments now that lead us into the future.

Read our By Laws and Strategic Plan.

See MSA’s Strategic Roadmap

Mission Statement

Providing vision, leadership and support for innovative programs that promote choice, equity, diversity, access, and excellence for all students.

The MSA Board of Directors approved a new strategic vision for the organization that will help create and shape the future of magnet schools across the nation.  MSA will not only continue to be relevant to our membership, but the strategic vision will create a path to more fully live out our organizational mission.

Vision

Collaboratively, with its members and partners, Magnet Schools of America will:

  • Be the foremost public school choice leader for equitable education, school integration, and academic excellence.
  • Be the leading resource for accessible, equitable, and innovative learning environments supporting integrated theme-based teaching and learning.
  • Provide resources and trainings to support strong magnet programs that address the needs of our members and support high quality instructional systems.
  • Serve as the public voice for exemplar magnet schools and high-quality innovative instructional practices.
  • Influence and impact policy and research aligned to our mission.
  • Develop, cultivate, and sustain significant mission-driven relationships that promote equity, diversity, innovation, professional learning, member needs, and community and family engagement.

Strategic Plan

Organizationally, MSA will be:

  1. Renewing and communicating the purpose for MSA and magnet schools
  2. Engaging in collaborations that support the mission of MSA, its members, and the business operations of MSA
  3. Clarifying member value, purpose, structure, and processes of NIMSL, Certification, and professional learning

Programmatically, MSA will be:

  1. Promoting the uniqueness and value of magnet schools for diversity, equity, inclusion, and academic achievement
  2. Connecting, recruiting, and retaining members
  3. Delivering professional learning services/technical assistance for magnet schools and districts

Operationally, MSA will be:

  1. Continuing its financial stewardship
  2. Improving and standardizing internal and external communication across the organization
  3. Focusing on growing membership through intentional planning, valued resources, and access

Download the Strategic Plan.

History of MSA

In protest to racially segregated schools in the 1960’s, magnet schools – along with other alternative options to traditional public school education – emerged in America’s largest cities.

The association has its roots in Texas where, in 1986, Magnet Schools of America (MSA) was initially incorporated as a for-profit organization that sponsored conferences. In 1994, a small group of inspired magnet visionaries were successful in receiving IRS approval for the organization as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, professional education association. The association moved from its original location in Houston until it relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2000.

Historical Highlights

  • 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared the explicit goal of reducing school segregation while providing high-quality education programs to all students.
  • 1968, in Tacoma, Washington, the first school designed to reduce racial isolation by offering school choice opened.
  • 1971, In Houston, Texas, the effect of a Performing and Visual Arts School is described as working like a magnet. The term caught on.
  • 1974, first research was released by Mario Fantini that showed all students do not learn the same way. A unifying theme or a different organizational structure for students of similar interests will improve learning in all areas.
  • 1985, Federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program was authorized.
  • 1986, Magnet Schools of America was founded.
  • 1994, MSA was formally approved as a 501(c)3.
  • 2000, MSA moves from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C.

 

Today, among myriad benefits it provides – not only to educating children nationwide in its 4,340 schools, but to professionals – Magnet Schools of America supports its members through a series of professional development opportunities.  From the ability to mine for and share best practices with same-themed schools, to monthly professional development webinars, to discounts to conferences, to grant and scholarship information, a monthly newsletter and more, MSA serves its members with the same dedication that it serves its educational purpose – supporting the individual needs of its members for their educational enrichment.

MSA Today

As a leader for magnet schools nationwide, MSA represents the mission of magnet schools on Capitol Hill by being an educational resource on behalf of its teachers and administrators.  Resources, news and updates on legislative issues are available here on the MSA website under our “news” section.  Access to our Grassroots Action Center, policy Blog and Legislative updates are the result of key, and crucial, discussions on the future of magnet schools.

The association sponsors a national awards program, that recognizes top magnet schools in the United States as well as individual award programs including Magnet’s Principal of the Year Award, Teacher of the Year, District Administrator of the Year and MSA Superintendent of the Year Award.  MSA provides professional development events, and provides technical assistance through the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL).


Technical Services Provided to Schools and Districts by Magnet Schools of America

Technical assistance is provided to schools and districts on a fee for service basis through the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL). Services can be tailored to meet the individual needs of schools and districts through our exclusive network of national magnet school experts.

Contact us for more information and a consultation.

Magnet Schools of America Open Positions

Title:  Chief Executive Officer

Location: Flexible; preferred residency in Washington, DC or committed time in Washington, DC

Start date: January 1, 2023

Role type: Full time

Travel:  Time in DC, some time in member districts, time in conference locations, time in partner conferences and events

Who We Are:

Magnet Schools of America (MSA) is a national nonprofit professional education association whose members are schools and school districts.  The association represents and is a resource to magnet schools, parents, teachers, school boards, administrators, business leaders, community organizations and institutions of higher education.

MSA is governed by a board of directors, many of whom work in, or with, magnet schools. The executive committee is composed of the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian and Past President.

Six geographic regions from around the United States and its territories are each represented on the board by a Regional Director. The Executive Director and staff serve in the national office based in Washington, D.C.

Distinguished and accomplished thought leaders, MSA’s six Specialized Directors advise and immerse the association with cutting edge perspectives in:

  • Racial and socio-economic diversity
  • Immersion programming
  • Civil rights
  • The latest research in the field
  • Legal analysis
  • Partnership development and more.

All of MSA’s directors have not only been catalysts for change in their own communities, they are leading a national dialogue and creating strategies for magnet schools by improving educational environments now that lead us into the future.

The Opportunity

The  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) works with the MSA staff, board of directors and members to execute strategies aligned with the organization’s mission, vision, and guiding principles. The CEO leads the processes of 1) working with members to forward the core beliefs and pillars of MSA- Diversity, Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development, Academic Excellence, Leadership, Family and Community Partnerships 2) support the strategic plan of MSA 3) engage congress in positive magnet school legislation.

This is an exciting opportunity for a candidate who believes in the power of transformational leadership and who agrees with the pillars of Magnet Schools of America.  This organization is forward thinking and supportive of inclusion and excellence in education.  The non-profit nature of the organization paired with local education districts is powerful to exact change across the national and the educational landscape.

MSA is a nonpartisan organization and believes strongly that regardless of party affiliation we must work to move educational processes forward for all children, conduct and support research of effective educational magnet strategies, and bring lawmakers together to create strong legislation in support of magnet schools and programs.

Our Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate for this role will be an educator with some experience in the non-profit world.  This candidate will be ready to lead a strong organization focused on equity, magnet implementation and practices, building relationships with congress and partners, and focused on member districts.  The ideal candidate will understand district operations and district leadership and be able to partner well with school districts, schools and educators from around the country.  The ideal candidate will be the face of the organization embodying the pillars of diversity, innovation, academic excellence, leadership and family and community partnerships.

The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal skills and be able to work with many stakeholders.   The candidate will fit well with the MSA mission, be innovative especially in professional development and curriculum development, resourceful, and results driven.  The candidate will be collaborative, focused on equity and access, flexible, and a good manager of the association and fiscal assets of the organization.  The ideal candidate would be a visionary that can inspire others to follow the MSA vision.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The CEO will be responsible for managing a national organization with a long history and reputation of supporting and championing magnet programs and schools.  The CEO will work with a staff, board of directors and members to accomplish the following duties:

  • Support and implement the strategic plan as designed by staff, the board, and members
  • Oversee the day-to-day business and affairs of MSA and carry out the policies and procedures of the organization
  • Develop, enhance, and maintain MSA relationships with stakeholders, outside partners, congress, members, staff and board of directors
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with current and potential sponsors, partners, and congress
  • Plan and execute in-person and virtual meetings and events including all conferences with a team of staff and volunteers
  • Support the team of staff and others that implement initiatives out of the MSA office such as training, National Institute for Magnet School Leadership (NIMSL) activities, regional meetings, etc.
  • Develop a personalized approach to assessing and meeting each member districts and schools unique needs with respect to diversity
  • Facilitate partnerships and oversee/manage projects to support these partnerships
  • Oversee annual budget process. Work with treasurer, auditors and financial institutions to responsibly handle all finance-related aspects of the organization’s functioning, including payroll and taxes. Work with the team to satisfy all fiscal reporting obligations.
  • Evaluate the efficacy, impact and resource requirements of each ongoing program, training and partnership by support NIMSL leadership and team
  • Develop and execute MSA’s communications plan, including the organization’s website, social media engagement, and member communications.
  • Elevate MSA’s status in the broader educational community nationally.  This may include entering conversations in various parts of the country underrepresented currently by MSA, working with government agencies, writing articles, giving presentations, and conducting media interviews about MSA as an organization or initiative supported by MSA

Benefits

Magnet Schools of America provides full-time employees with a competitive benefits package that includes a retirement plan; dental, vision, and medical coverage options; organization-wide holidays; and professional development opportunities.

Apply

Magnet Schools of America is an equal opportunity employer.  We value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.  To apply, please forward a resume and cover letter to Judy Shen, Director of Operations, at judy.shen@magnet.edu by July 1st, 2022.


Learn how to become a Nationally Certified Magnet School

Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.

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