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Advocacy: Curriculum Watch

For more than a century, our public schools have been an invaluable resource for millions of children in the United States. Whether serving as a training ground for democracy, a playground for diverse cultures to advocacy, or an important learning environment, public school education is critical in shaping the attitudes and knowledge of future generations.

In 1992, Hadassah's Curriculum Watch program was established to help guarantee the factual correctness of educational materials used by all American children. By reviewing American textbooks to detect inaccuracies and bias as relating to Judaism, the Holocaust, and the history of Israel, Curriculum Watch is a vitally important effort for Hadassah and the Jewish community as a whole.

Curriculum Watch has two major components: an Academic Resource Corps and an Academic Advisory Board.

The Academic Resource Corps serves as our eyes and ears in schools around the country. Made up of concerned Hadassah members who are educators, parents, principals, and librarians, the Corps helps monitor our public schools' curricula, focusing on bias. When it identifies such material, it alerts the Academic Advisory Board. The Board, made up of university professors with related expertise, examines the texts to determine whether they are factual, inclusive, and unbiased in their presentation.

To date, more than 20 textbooks have been examined and reviewed through Curriculum Watch. After identifying historical inaccuracies in a number of textbooks, the books' publishers were contacted to request that the appropriate revisions be made. As a result, a number of the publishing houses responsible for producing these texts have responded with revisions in subsequent editions of their textbooks. In addition, several publishers now voluntarily provide Hadassah with manuscripts of their new textbooks, seeking "expert reads" so books will be correct upon publication.

Through Curriculum Watch, Hadassah is helping to ensure that an accurate picture of Jewish history, the Jewish community and our traditions will be presented to future generations of American public school students.

 We invite you to join Hadassah's Curriculum Watch Academic Advisory Resource Corps. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or an individual who is concerned about this issue, you can help guarantee that the Jewish community is correctly depicted to future generations of American students. Join Curriculum Watch.

For more information on Curriculum Watch, please contact the American Affairs/Domestic Policy Department at (212) 303-8136 or americanaffairs@hadassah.org.
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