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Education
An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

Same-Sex Schools Proposed For Charlotte's Magnet Programs

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Single-gender and expanded arts magnet programs may be offered to Charlotte students in future years. The district’s magnet schools are currently being reviewed with a lot of attention going to the idea of same-sex magnet schools.

A couple of Charlotte schools have had a few single-gender classes, but there are none that are single sex only. Assistant Superintendent Keishia Craven-Howell says that could change in future years.

“We certainly have schools in the district that are experimenting with it to a positive effect,” Craven-Howell said. “A good example of that is South Charlotte Middle School, who has been doing it for several years and gotten positive feedback from both parents and students.” 

Studies show that male and female students learn differently and according to the National Education Association, girls are more confident and prone to delve deeper into math and science in segregated settings. Also, education experts say boys do better academically in environments where they can be more gregarious and where there are no girls in their classes to distract them.

Discussion on same-sex magnet schools came up in this week’s school board meeting, where Craven-Howell presented a list of possible expansion magnet program options to members. Also on the table for consideration, a museum-themed school.

“The Charlotte Mecklenburg area is rich in museums and we partner with some of them in a smaller ways and we want to think about how we might extend that into a larger partnership to drive the theme and the core work of a school,” Craven-Howell said.

But school board member Eric Davis said a lot of work needs to happen before any new programs are launched.

“A number of my colleagues have reservations about museum magnats,” Davis said. “I think the most popular of the ideas was CTE education with other magnet programs and the expansion of the CTE programs.”

CTE stands for Career Technical Education. Those programs focus on training students for jobs such as electricians, dental assistants, carpenters and cosmetologists.

Charlotte’s magnet schools are currently being reviewed by the non-profit Magnet Schools of America. Their report is expected by May. Craven-Howell says new programs probably won’t be added before the 2016/2017 school year.

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