N.J.'s Magnet Schools Top Newsweek List: Our Brand of School Choice Teflon

Newsweek ranked New Jersey's best public high schools and the top five are High Technology High School, Academy for Mathematics Science and Engineering, Union County Magnet High School, Bergen County Academics, Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies, and Academy of Allied Health and Science.

Any theme here? Yup: they are all county-run magnet schools that require admissions tests, high GPA's, references, and the like. No lotteries here, no socio-economic diversity Call it N.J.'s preferred version of school choice, one that avoids the shrapnel aimed at charters and interdistrict school choice, and one  that happens to be restricted to high-flying students.

ICYMI, here's a link to a NJ Spotlight piece I wrote a while back on school choice and N.J. magnet schools, which looks at how,
Interestingly, magnets draw little of the political vitriol often directed at other public school options that depend on parental motivation, resources, and application processes. After all, the angry objections to charter schools -- “creaming off" high-performing children from traditional schools and burdening local districts with tuition and transportation costs -- could be made about magnets too.

But they’re not. In New Jersey, magnets are school-choice Teflon.