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Magnet Schools and Sheff vs. O’Neill. Presentation for the Hartford Public Schools by Hambisa Goso, Erik Jefferson, Kerry Kincy, Chris Olenoski, and Sam Zivin, with Professor Jack Dougherty Trinity College, Hartford CT April 25, 2007.

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Magnet schools and sheff vs o neill

Magnet Schools and Sheff vs. O’Neill

Presentation for the Hartford Public Schools

by Hambisa Goso, Erik Jefferson, Kerry Kincy, Chris Olenoski, and Sam Zivin,

with Professor Jack Dougherty

Trinity College, Hartford CT

April 25, 2007


Part 1: Racial composition of magnet schools and Sheff settlement goals

Part 2: Interviews with prospective parents at magnet school fairs


According to the Sheff legal settlement of 2003, all parties agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


22 magnets currently open, 2006-07 agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Source: CT State Dept. Ed


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

*based on prior year Choice data


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

*based on prior year Choice data

Even if all magnet enrollments were counted, still would not reach 30% goal

Project Choice enrollments have not risen to 1600, the projected level in 2003 settlement


Are We Meeting the Sheff Goal? agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Progress toward the Sheff settlement goal of 30% by June 2007

*estimate


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Research Questions:

1) What motivates parents to consider magnet schools relative to other choices?

2) How do parents construct ideas about the purpose and quality of magnet schools?

3) What sources of information and social networks do these parents rely upon?

4) How do parental motivations, ideas, and networks vary across demographic groups?


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Research Methods:

Interviews with 126 prospective magnet parents attending 3 HPS magnet fairs in January - February 2007


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Research Methods:

Interviews with 126 prospective magnet parents attending 3 HPS magnet fairs in January - February 2007

Community partner

Delores Bolton, HPS Assistant Supt for Magnet Schools


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Research Methods:

Interviews with 126 prospective magnet parents attending 3 HPS magnet fairs in January - February 2007

Fair at Breakthrough Magnet School, January 2007


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Research Methods:

Interviews with 126 prospective magnet parents attending 3 HPS magnet fairs in January - February 2007

Fair at Breakthrough Magnet School, January 2007


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Transcribed, coded, and analyzed interview data


Magnet School Fair Interviews agreed to a goal of 30% of Hartford minority students in desegregated school settings by June 2007

Demographic summary of parents in this sample

*We did not interview every parent at the magnet fair, nor should this sample be generalized to the larger pool of all magnet applicants


Claim 1 race does not affect push or pull motivations in this sample
Claim 1: Race Does not Affect “Push” or “Pull” Motivations in this sample

We coded parent motivations for considering a magnet school:

  • “push” away from current school

  • “pull” toward magnet school

  • both

  • neither


Claim 1 race does not affect push or pull motivations in this sample1
Claim 1: Race Does not Affect “Push” or “Pull” Motivations in this sample

We coded parent motivations for considering a magnet school:

  • “push” away from current school

  • “pull” toward magnet school

  • both

  • neither


Claim 2 more parents motivated by educational opportunity than diversity in this sample
Claim 2: More parents motivated by educational opportunity than diversity in this sample

  • Regardless of race, magnet fair parents were more likely to mention educational opportunities as their motivation (39%, or 49 out of 126), compared to diversity (1%, or 6 out of 126)

  • Of the White parents, only 1 out of 24, acknowledged diversity as their motivation, in comparison to 5 out of 102 minority parents


Claim 3 urban parents rely more upon current schools for magnet information than suburban parents
Claim 3: Urban Parents Rely More Upon Current Schools for Magnet Information than Suburban Parents

  • 34% (23/67) Urban parents rely on current schools

  • 21% (12/57) Suburban parents rely on current schools

  • Typical urban parent responses:

    • “I got a flyer from school” or “School counselor”

  • Suburban parents rely more upon social networks


Claim 4 several parents perceive magnet schools as different from public schools
Claim 4: Several Parents Perceive Magnet Schools as Different from “Public” Schools

  • Typical parent: “I’m just trying to find an alternative to public school in Hartford”

  • The population lacks a clear vocabulary for two types of public schools: magnets and neighborhood schools


Claim 4 several parents perceive magnet schools as different from public schools1
Claim 4: Several Parents Perceive Magnet Schools as Different from “Public” Schools

  • Typical parent: “I’m just trying to find an alternative to public school in Hartford”

  • The population lacks a clear vocabulary for two types of public schools: magnets and neighborhood schools

Some magnet school promotional literature contributes to this confusion by associating magnets with “private” schools


Claim 5 some parents concerned with recently magnetized neighborhood schools
Claim 5: Some Parents Concerned with Recently “Magnetized” Neighborhood Schools

  • HPS neighborhood schools recently converted into magnets: Kinsella, Hooker, Annie Fisher, Simpson-Waverly, Noah Webster

  • Typical parent comments:

    • “I don’t know what they are going to offer different”...

    • “When it was a troubled elementary school, [boom] it turned into a magnet school…”


Members of the Ed 309 seminar at Trinity, Spring 2007 “Magnetized” Neighborhood Schools

Back (L to R): Hambisa Goso, Heather Moore, Erik Jefferson, Chris Olenoski, Ernie Laden; Middle: Dora Turjan, Gloribel Gonzalez, Ashley Clackson, Jen Shouldice, Kerry Kincy, Sam Zivin; Front: Elysha Padilla, Mari Zigas, Jason Haber. Not pictured: Noelle Bessette and Professor Jack Dougherty


Additional information available on the Cities, Suburbs, and Schools website

www.trincoll.edu/depts/educ/CSS


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