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Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: Congress and the NEA

Letter to the US Congress
Letter to the US Congress

I include below a copy of the letter I sent this week to Representatives of the 50 states in the US Congress:

Dear Representative:

The National Education Association (NEA) adopted last July 2022 a resolution (“NBI 13”) in support of teaching the Palestinian narrative in K12 schools. The Palestinian narrative has been already included in some “Ethnic Studies” courses for 9th graders in K12 public schools in California.  NBI 13 would push this narrative even further into all grades and courses in public schools. This narrative is used as a vehicle to delegitimize the State of Israel, with the ultimate objective being the return to the pre-1948 situation: no state for the Jewish people.

Tell the NEA that K12 public schools already struggle to teach the basic tools and subjects that children need to succeed in life (English, Math, the History of the United States and Civics come to mind). The Arab-Israeli conflict is not one of them. Tell the NEA to concentrate on the basics and avoid diverting funds, teacher resources and precious student hours for this subject. However, if the NEA insists …

Teachers are supposed to provide a balanced approach to their students, let the two sides of a conflict present their case and discuss the two positions in class. A one-sided presentation based on the Palestinian narrative alone is not education: It is indoctrination. The Jewish perspective must be heard and taught too.

Talk to the NEA: perhaps they will listen to Congress. Urge the NEA to withdraw the NBI 13 and replace it by a new resolution supporting the teaching of both perspectives of the Arab-Israeli conflict in K12 schools within the framework of an “Ethnic Studies” course. Otherwise – in addition to replacing education by indoctrination – the NEA (and local school districts that will follow the NBI 13) will be in violation of Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and liable to be sued. Article 26 states:

“… Education shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups …”

For more information about this matter see my book “Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: The Jewish module”. The book presents the Jewish perspective and was written to be used by K12 students within the framework of an “Ethnic Studies” course. The book is available for free reading and download for all, teachers and students, parents and the general public, at:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361800823_Ethnic_Studies_in_K12_schools_The_Jewish_module

Teachers and students can print as many copies of the book as they need.

I enclose a complimentary paperback copy of the book with this letter.

Sincerely,

Jaime Kardontchik, PhD (Physics)

Silicon Valley, California

= End of the letter to Congress =

Added Note:

The NBI 13 adopted by the NEA in its last annual meeting in July 2022 states:

“NEA will support members who educate students and other members about the history, geography, and current state of affairs of the Palestinian people. NEA will provide state affiliates with a clear protocol for members doing this work to utilize when they are under attack.”

Teach Palestine” was included in the 2019 “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” (“ESMC”) for high-schools in California. This led the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, to veto this curriculum, since it served in practice as a venue for anti-Jewish content.

NEA’s NBI 13 reintroduces the “Palestinian narrative” back again into the curriculum, this time not only in California but in all the 50 states of the US. On top of this, it is not restricted anymore to be just part of an “Ethnic Studies” course for high-school students: NEA’s NBI 13 supports “Teach Palestine” as a valid subject to be taught as part of any course in elementary, middle and high schools. Jewish minors attending public schools in the US will be subjected from now on to indoctrination and brainwashing, leading to self-hate, from young age.

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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