Welcome to the Parents for Excellence in Newton Schools (PENS) website! We hope you will find the site informative and that what you read here inspires you to take action - an email, a phone call, or a conversation with your children - about inaccurate and biased class material used in public schools in Newton, Massachusetts and other communities.
In September, 2014 the education research group Verity Educate published an extensive report analyzing twenty-six items of material used in Newton high school World History classes. The report found numerous inaccuracies, overt bias, and evidence of academic dishonesty including deceptively edited primary source documents, the failure to disclose the source of material produced by extremist organizations, and the use of handouts derived from discredited sources such as a radical Islamist* website and a 1960's-era Saudi oil company public relations brochure. None of the material was used for discussion purposes or to compare varying approaches to historical events; all were purported to be accurate and neutral. A summary of the report's findings is here.
The report is available free of charge from Verity Educate. The material referenced in the report is at www.scribd.com/NewtonExcellence.
Over a year after the Verity Educate report was issued, Newton Public Schools (NPS) officials have refused to respond to or even read its findings. We need your help to overcome the school administration's disregard for educational accuracy and its tolerance of grossly inaccurate and overtly biased material, including material which fails to meet the most basic educational standards.
Other organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, Fordham Foundation, American Jewish Committee, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and The Textbook League have also issued articles and reports regarding the inaccurate and biased material used in Newton classrooms. These findings have been published in newspapers and magazines including the Washington Times, Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, Baltimore Reporter, Times of Israel, and JointMedia News Service.
Further information about PENS' mission and goals is on the page About Us.
* Please note the distinction between Islamic and Islamist. Describing a source as "Islamic" simply means that it is related to the religion Islam and does not connote any type of extremism or radicalism. The word "Islamist" refers to a radical or extreme version of Islam which seeks to replace current political systems with one government based on and promoting Islam as it was practiced in approximately 600 A.C.E. This is the goal of ISIS and affiliated groups.