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These are the stories bouncing around in my head. These disparate stories form my narrative of education at the moment.

Is there a through-line about respect and dignity that we can identify in:
* the teachers' labor dispute in British Columbia
* the protests against the release of teacher ratings in NYC
* the Occupy Education march in Sacramento
* the recent data showing that Black kids are disciplined unfairly in schools
* undocumented students whose dreams are hidden in secret freedom schools in Atlanta and elsewhere*

British Columbia teachers walking out of their classrooms because of conditions in their schools

Five years ago, Dunbar said, he worked at a school where his class included two autistic students, one student with Asperger syndrome, two beginner ESL students and two students with behavioural problems. Dunbar is troubled by criticism that a three-day strike is inconvenient when he insists the focus should be on overall educational concerns. "This is three days out of [students'] education," he said. "The kids are going to be fine. Three days out of their school career shouldn't be a problem."

Dunbar suspects Bill 22 will pass, but he maintains that bodes poorly for the troubled relationship between the government and teachers. "With this legislation, the situation is only going to get worse. It just sours things," he said.

Teacher Patrick Robert was trying to remain optimistic at the information picket at Ecole Bilingue, a French Immersion school on West 14th near Oak Street.

"I'm feeling good because I'm hoping this actually changes something and that the public realizes we're not only fighting for teachers' salaries, but for student learning," he said.

http://www.vancourier.com/news/walkout+ends+teachers+union+says+every+option+table/6263350/story.html#ixzz1oRf1s9WX

The response of New York City teachers to Teacher Evaluation Data ratings being released to the press.

Using a complex mathematical formula, the department's statisticians have calculated how much elementary and middle-school teachers' students outpaced -- or fell short of -- expectations on annual standardized tests. They adjusted these calculations for 32 variables, including ''whether a child was new to the city in pretest or post-test year'' and ''whether the child was retained in grade before pretest year.'' This enabled them to assign each teacher a score of 1 to 100, representing how much value the teachers added to their students' education.
Then news organizations did their part by publishing the names of the teachers and their numbers. Miss Smith might seem to be a good teacher, but parents will know she's a 23.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE2DE1630F93AA15751C0A9649D8B63&ref=educationdepartmentent

The march on Sacramento by students and teachers fighting against cut-backs?

Thousands of students and activists marched through Sacramento's streets and rallied outside the state Capitol on Monday to protest cuts to California's colleges and universities.

"They say cut back, we say fight back!" the students chanted while waving signs saying "fund education, not war" and "cuts in education never heal."

The plaza on the west side of the Capitol was teeming with protesters during the rally, which was billed as a chance to "occupy the Capitol." Outside the building, student leaders and top Democrats who voted to slash higher education budgets last year addressed the crowd.

"We've cut billions of dollars and I've hated every minute of it," said Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

Van Jones, the activist and former White House green energy adviser, said demonstrators wanted the wealthy to pay more taxes to support higher education.

"All you want is a chance," he told the crowd. "You're not asking for charity."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/03/california-occupy-capitol.html

The U.S. Department of Education release of the Civil Rights Data Collection sample, which found that public school educators unfairly punish minority students:

He said that when black and white students commit the same offense, black students are far more likely to be suspended, expelled, subject to physical punishment and referred to the police. These disparities start a vicious circle for these students, who fall further behind in class time, suffer from lower self-esteem and then either drop out or land in the criminal-justice system. These are among the most treacherous barriers to economic and educational advancement for minorities in this country; they must stop, Henderson said.

http://www.theroot.com/buzz/are-public-schools-safe-black-children

Undocumented college students in Georgia who have to study in a secret Freedom School because there is no way for them to gain citizenship in the U.S.

AMY GOODMAN: What impact do these laws on higher education have for undocumented immigrants like yourself, Keish, who grow up here in the United States?

KEISH KIM: Right. We have to understand that a lot of us—I came at the age of eight, but there are many various of students who come at—when they are one or a few months old, and we learn that this is our country. Telling us that we cannot obtain higher education, that we cannot go to college or community college, even if we work hard and do our best in school, it is crushing dreams, it is crushing goals. You’re telling someone that they can’t do something, that they can’t achieve something. That, you cannot express in words.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/6/freedom_university_undocumented_college_students_in
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