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Cool School Reform for K-12 Supplemental Materials

December 2009 Contents

COOL School Reform

Textbooks Are Still Troubled

Op-Ed: New U.S. anti-Semitism envoy facing formidable task

Anti-Semitism Forces Out Ontario High School Teacher

December Articles of Interest

COOL School Reform

Kenneth L. Marcus
Ken Marcus, Director
Anti-Semitism Initiative

Last month, IJCR launched its COOL School Reform initiative at a nationwide conference of state legislators in Dallas. The initiative addresses a significant problem identified in Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra's recent book, The Trouble with Textbooks (TwT): foreign-funded supplemental educational materials (SEMs) which distort children's perceptions of Israel and the Jewish people. TwT shows that many of the worst SEMs are funded by foreign governments or organizations that are ideologically committed to destroying the State of Israel. COOL School Reform would require County Of Origin Labeling on SEMs that are distributed in the public schools, so that parents will know what foreign anti-Israel materials are given to their children.

Read the full column

The Quad is a monthly publication of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR). It includes updates on research and publications; alerts about items in the news; original commentary by scholars; and news about our partners.

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) is an independent non-profit dedicated to the growth and security of the Jewish community.

Website: JewishResearch.org
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Textbooks Are Still Troubled

IJCR's The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion (TwT) has shed light on failures within the textbook industry to insulate itself from politicized scholarship and historical revisionism. Teaching about the three major monotheistic religions is fraught with inaccuracies and double standards that reflect the results of intense lobbying efforts on the part of interest groups. Muslim advocacy groups have been particularly successful at exploiting the textbook publishing process, promoting an Islam and Arab friendly narrative that too often results in a disparaging view of Christianity and Judaism. American textbooks present Muslim beliefs as historical fact while subjecting Judaism and Christianity to unique qualifications and skepticism. This all too overlooked area of American education is at a crossroads and demands the attention of the American public.

Read Textbooks Are Still Troubled by Dennis Ybarra, Institute for Jewish & Community Research, December 18, 2009

Op-Ed: New U.S. anti-Semitism envoy facing formidable task

Hannah Rosenthal, President Obama's nominee for the post of special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, certainly has her work cut out for her.

According to the latest report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, hate crimes remain "a serious problem" in the OSCE's 56 member states. Yet, incredibly, only eight of the 56 governments provided the OSCE with data on recent anti-Semitic incidents in their countries. Clearly there are regimes that hope to preserve their country's image by whitewashing local anti-Semitism. Confronting them will be one of Ms. Rosenthal's many challenges.

Read New U.S. anti-Semitism envoy facing formidable task by Gregg Rickman and Rafael Medoff, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 8, 2009

Anti-Semitism Forces Out Ontario High School Teacher

In a National Post article, Barbara Kay relates the chilling testimony about a Jewish high school French teacher forced into retirement by anti-Semitic harassment from students, abetted by an unsympathetic administration eager to pursue political correctness.

The November Quad featured IJCR participation in the hearings of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA). Kenneth L. Marcus and Gregg Rickman testified about the extent of the global resurgence of anti-Semitism. Aryeh Weinberg and K-12 expert Dennis Ybarra provided written testimony.


Read Toxic classrooms by Barbara Kay, National Post, November 30, 2009

December Articles of Interest

K-12

What Johnny Needs to Learn about Islam
Texas, Florida, and California revise their textbook standards
By Stephen Schwartz, Weekly Standard
December 7, 2009

Second Graders Sing About Allah?
By Todd Starnes, FOX News Radio
December 14, 2009


Higher Education

Academics behaving badly
By Ben-Dror Yemini, The Jerusalem Post
November 24, 2009

S. African found guilty of inciting hatred against Jews to lead anti-Israel tour in UK
By Jonny Paul, The Jerusalem Post
December 5, 2009

Schools' Iran $$ pipeline
Columbia, Rutgers on 'spy' group gift list
By Isabel Vincent, New York Post
November 22, 2009


Philanthropy

Russians Now Big Players in American Jewish Philanthropy
Once the 'Powerless Cousins,' Their Wealth Drives New Agenda
By Gal Beckerman, The Forward
December 9, 2009


World

Boycott revival?
By Jon Haber, The Jerusalem Post
December 2, 2009