Coming as they did, in the midst of several different national desegregation crises, early magnet schools offered a relatively uncontroversial–and peaceful–means of integrating schools. And the magnet movement got an early boost from two federal district court decisions in 1976, in the aftermath of the discord in Charlotte and Boston. In approving magnet-driven, voluntary desegregation programs in Buffalo and Milwaukee, the courts seemed more than willing to accept reasonable alternatives to the forced dissolution of geography-based school assignments.


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