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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 23, 2010 9 Iyar, 5770

Making War Over History

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Texas is big. Everybody knows that. Texans, who boast about their diversity and productivity, are usually big, too. Texas produces more beef and cotton than any other state. Texas has a lot of snakes and flowers, and producers of nearly everything everywhere are determined to make a market in Texas.

When the product bears on what children in the other 49 states learn at school, what Texas produces becomes our business. Textbook publishers long ago learned that publishing textbooks for Texas was an opportunity to hit a gusher, like Jett Rink's gusher of oil in the movie "Giant." With more than 4.7 million students and a school board that adopts textbooks for the whole state, Texas attracts publishers from all over to make pilgrimages to Texas to get drafts of their books approved according to Texas standards. It follows that this one-size-fits-all cuts the cost of textbooks for schools in the rest of the nation.

This year, the Texas Board of Education landed itself in the middle of the culture wars when it rewrote the social studies curriculum, inviting a debate that mirrors the values conflict between traditionalists and multiculturalists. With partisans on the right and on the left, it's the 21st century's "battle of the books." The argument is tilted a bit to the right, with 10 Republicans and five Democrats deciding on changes in the books.

"We are adding balance," Dr. Don McLeroy, the conservative leader on the board, told The New York Times. "History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left. "

Counters Mary Beth Berlanga, a longtime Texas board member and Hispanic activist, "They are rewriting history." She complains that conservatives ignore Hispanics and want to portray a white America. She and her liberal friends accuse the board of "racist ideology" and spreading "capitalism propaganda."


Letter from JWR publisher


Calmer observers suggest the changes are a necessary correction of liberal bias. Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the New York-based American Textbook Council, an independent research organization that reviews history and social studies textbooks used in the nation's schools, argues that "for two decades, multiculturalists have tried to supplant the older view of Americans as religious dissenters, pioneers and immigrants intent on making a freer and better life, a force for good in the world, a nation that regulated reform and advanced civil rights to all."

He describes American parents as shocked and dismayed to discover their children are reading history as "a setting for power struggles between groups, or as an unjust and patriarchal society whose rapacity — from Jamestown to Vietnam — needs exposure and explication." Columbus isn't a discoverer and explorer, he's an invader and exploiter. Harriet Tubman is a saint. Thomas Jefferson is a sinner.

Although the more than 100 changes recently adopted by the selection board tilt rightward, they are mostly only mildly corrective. The American experience of moving westward is to be described as "expansionism," not "imperialism." The "free enterprise system" replaces the negative connotations that have come to adhere to the word "capitalism" (as in "capitalist pig"). The goals of the Great Society will be broadened to include discussions of its "unintended consequences."

Students will actually learn about "the conservative resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s," including the way Phyllis Schlafly led the successful fight against the Equal Rights Amendment and Newt Gingrich succeeded with the Contract With America and the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994.

These textbook controversies may soon become moot, as more schools rely on electronic books. Students would do a lot better to read different works of actual historians than the rehashed, reinterpreted history often written by hacks. Herodotus and Thucydides such hacks are not.

History, as the cliche goes, is always written by the victors, but a strange thing has happened to American education since the 1960s. Our triumphs have been trivialized and twisted, demonizing America with no celebration of what America stands for in the hearts and minds of the millions across the world.

Instead of emphasizing the abolition of slavery, the educationists encourage our children to wallow in the horrors of that "moral, social and political evil" before Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves, along with an enormous expenditure of blood in the Civil War. Instead of focusing on the courage of our ancestors, educationists obsess on what went wrong. They indulge the mindset that sneers at the tea parties as "rabble and racist," ignoring the growing aspiration to return to the smaller government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Lord Byron scoffed that history was the "devil's Scripture." Arnold Toynbee defined history as "a vision of God's creation on the move." The textbook wars will continue, because they're too big even for Texas.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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