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Distinct by Design, the digital magazine of Magnet Schools of America, is a quarterly periodical intended to provide information and expert opinion on issues important to magnet schools, their students, educators, administrators, and supporters, and anyone working to advance the five pillars that serve as the foundation of magnet schools: diversity, innovative curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, leadership, and family and community partnerships.

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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Distinct by Design, the quarterly digital magazine of Magnet Schools of America.

As its name suggests, Distinct by Design focuses primarily on a feature of American public education—the magnet school—that is unique and unlike most public schools but intentionally different, purposefully designed to provide opportunities that set these schools apart.

In a Challenging Environment, Magnet Schools Offer Compelling Solutions

As this first issue of Distinct by Design makes clear, American public schools are facing a range of challenges, from dwindling federal funding to dizzying and disruptive technological advancements to entrenched segregation.

In our book, Magnet Schools: Public Schools of Choice in a Changing Education Landscape, we explore the unique facets of magnet schools that position them so well as potential solutions.

Fulfilling Brown’s Promise

This year, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the Brown decision, schools are at least as racially segregated as they were in the late 1960s and students of color continue to be systematically excluded from schools with greater resources. Schools and districts with high numbers of students of color and students living in poverty are under-funded, over-reliant on novice teachers, and less likely to provide rigorous coursework. 

With a Fiscal Cliff Looming, States Must Ensure Districts Maximize Every Dollar for Students

The last few years have seen states and districts flush with cash, thanks to historic sums of pandemic relief aid in the form of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, or ESSER.

Why School Culture Matters

As the title of this newsletter suggests, magnet schools are distinct by design. From the first magnet school that opened in 1968 (McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington) until today, magnet schools have specialized in having distinctive missions. Magnet schools operate with clear purpose and practices; teachers, students, and parents know what a magnet school is about.

What Educators Should Know About Generative AI

By now, you have no doubt heard a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) and why it’s the best—or the worst—thing to happen to K-12 education in a long time. I can’t tell you what to believe, but I can help explain a little about how generative AI might be used in schools today.

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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