'Grassroots' group opposes CPS plan

February 17, 2009 3:15:13 PM PST
The Chicago school board could vote later this month to close, consolidate or relocate 16 schools. But a group of educators and parents oppose the plan.The group Grassroots Education Movement, or GEM, released two studies Tuesday. One questions the data school officials use in making its decisions. The second study concluded that charter schools have not improved the quality or access to education for all students.

GEM supporters want a moratorium on school closures and more community involvement in the decisions. They'd also like to strengthen local school councils.

"Our parents don't want the choice to send their children to this school or that school. That is just some marketing thing that is made up. Our parents want to send their children to a world class school in their neighborhood," said Jitu Brown, GEM.

Chief education officer Barbara Eason-Watkins says CPS believes it conducted a thorough review process with community impute and involvement, and she says demand shows that charter schools are thriving.