Originally created 07/01/00

Add more magnet schools



It's always heartening to report good school news. Richmond County School Superintendent Charles Larke just announced some very good news, indeed: A fourth magnet school is in the works, this one to center on international studies.

The two-year Baccalaureate International curriculum is a rigorous pre-college course of studies that opens up top universities all over the world to students who do well on the final exam. It will start out slowly next fall at the Academy of Richmond County High School with only 20 students, but is expected to expand quickly as did the other three magnet schools.

Magnet schools have enjoyed enormous success in Richmond County, both in terms of popularity with students and parents and academic achievement. In large part this is due to the fact that, unlike regular high schools, magnet students can be given the boot if they are troublemakers or don't achieve. That creates an incentive for them to behave and strive for the best grades they can get.

This is why education progressives in our community would like to see even more magnet schools in the offing. Larke is already looking at creating a magnet school for vocational students in south Augusta and another traditional magnet school.

Add to that list a medical magnet school. It would be ideal for our medically oriented community. Other communities with a heavy medical presence in states like Mississippi and California have medical magnets - why not Augusta?