2013 Magnet Audit Overview
Baltimore County Public Schools engaged an external auditor, Metis Associates, to review its magnet programs. The six-month audit, which began in May 2013, assessed the effectiveness of the system's central administration, which manages the application process, conducts marketing, and provides some program staffing. It also looked at equity of access in terms of admissions criteria as well as transportation and geographic issues. Finally, the audit explored the effectiveness of magnet program implementation, which includes the level of interest in these programs on the part of students and families and the sufficiency of staffing and resources.
Researchers reviewed program documentation; solicited input from stakeholders such as the district magnet team, staff, and principals; and analyzed school- and student-level data. A significant component of the audit was a series of community forums and an online questionnaire.
Magnet programs are a critical part of the BCPS educational program. Since 1993, BCPS has offered magnet programs to students in elementary, middle, and high schools. More than 70 programs available at 28 school locations serve nearly 12,000 students.
Metis served as the external evaluator for Baltimore's federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant from 2003 to 2007. That grant was used to create several middle- and high-school magnet programs that will be included in the current audit.
Here is the report produced by Metis: