GEM believes that every child has a constitutional, civil, and human right to a high quality, equitably funded, public education based on
- participatory democratic principles,
- community empowerment,
- a challenging comprehensive and enriched curriculum,
- respect for cultural, racial/ethnic, sexual, and linguistic diversity, and
- Universal Human Rights.
GEM believes that education should prepare students to deeply understand the roots of inequality and be prepared to act to change the world. Public schools that are publicly funded, democratic, and equitable can be the most important cornerstones of communities and are critical to advancing democracy and social justice. Everyone is entitled to a high-quality, public education that provides a positive and nurturing environment.
GEM is an alliance of community, parent, teacher, and student organizations and unions. We are committed to defend and transform public education through community organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and a bottom-up, participatory, democratic process that engages parents, students, teachers, and school personnel. We work collectively to ensure that all families have access to world class public schools in their neighborhood that are publicly funded, equitable, and democratically controlled. We are committed to racial, gender, sexual, economic, and environmental justice.
- We support an Elected Representative School Board for Chicago Public Schools that is comprised of parents, teachers, student and community members who are demographically and geographically representative of the student body.
- We support multiple, high-quality, comprehensive measures to identify student need and assess student progress and we oppose the reliance on standardized tests as the single measure of school and student progress
- We call on the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Board of Education to be publicly accountable for providing equitable resources to all Chicago schools including posting all current school budgets and school improvement plans online.
- We support quality, fully- resourced, clean public neighborhood schools with smaller class sizes, equitable funding, healthy food, union protections, local school councils, and neighborhood enrollment that protects children from exclusion and push out. We fully oppose the privatization of public education. We support a moratorium on charters, turnarounds, consolidations, phase outs, school closings and any other form of school privatization.
- We support empowered educators to work with communities to develop curriculum that is grounded in the lives of the young people they teach. Each school’s curriculum should reflect the culture, needs and lived experience of its students, critically support student identities, embrace and recognize the value of students’ home languages, and invite students to engage in solving societal problem
- We support strong teacher and other school employee unions. Good working conditions for teachers and other school workers are good learning conditions for students.
- We insist that students with special needs have rich, equitable educational experiences and services.