By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Parents and staff are fighting the Philadelphia school district’s plan to convert four schools to charters under its “Renaissance” program.

“Save our school!” parents and teachers chanted as they rallied outside last Thursday night’s School Reform Commission meeting.

They were protesting the plan to turn the Creighton, HR Edmunds, and Cleveland elementary schools and the Jones Middle School over to charter providers under the district’s “Renaissance” program, which turns failing schools over to outside operators.

Teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan called the move political.

“These schools are on the trajectory of improvement,” he told KYW Newsradio, “so therefore we question the validity of the district’s system of using the School Performance Index, which is flawed, in order to determine that these schools should be closed.”

The district has changed 13 poorly performing schools to Renaissance charters in the last three years.  The School Reform Commission will vote on the latest conversions on April 19th.

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