Louisiana is excluding magnet schools from the chance to win a prestigious national award in favor of “nonselective” schools, a move that the head of the nation’s largest organization of magnet schools says is absurd.
“It makes you wonder what ulterior motives there may be or what misinformation they may have about magnet schools,” Scott Thomas, executive director of Magnet Schools of America, said in an interview.
Thomas said he is not aware of any other state in the country that won’t let magnet schools compete for national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence honors.
At least 29 of the 145 Louisiana schools that have won Blue Ribbons since the federal government began awarding them in 1982 have been magnet schools. Five, including two-time winner Baton Rouge Magnet High School, are part of the East Baton Rouge Parish public school system. The school system has nine Blue Ribbon schools in all.