Magnet schools raise bar for comprehensive programs

Wednesday, August 1, 2001 at 1:00am

The introduction of magnet schools to the Metro school system has challenged comprehensive high schools to become more competitive.

Magnet schools offer specific programs in the arts, sciences, etc. and are not limited to a specific geographic area. Comprehensive schools offer more conventional educational programs.

While all the comprehensive high schools have suffered significant losses to magnet schools, schools such as Whites Creek and Stratford have lost many students, not just to magnet schools, but to other comprehensive high schools.

Hillsboro, Hunters Lane, Overton and Glencliff, however, are making up for their losses by attracting more students. Some attribute this to the special curriculum -- or lack thereof -- offered at the comprehensive schools.

City council member Brenda Gilmore recently contacted the school board and director of schools with concern that many students zoned to Whites Creek are choosing other schools instead. She attributed this to a small number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes offered at Whites Creek as opposed to other comprehensive high schools. Whites Creek, for example, in the 2000-2001 school year, had no AP classes in foreign languages, mathematics, science, art or music.

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