Arab World Studies Notebook

The Arab World Studies Notebook, a supplemental text funded by Saudi Arabia, was widely used in Newton high school history courses until 2012. PENS was instrumental in the removal of the Notebook from Newton classes.

Because the NPS announced the Notebook's removal from the curriculum over three years ago, we considered deleting this section to concentrate on more timely matters. However, the local newspaper Jewish Advocate published a letter defending the Notebook as late as October, 2014, the same year that investigators found that it had not been removed as promised but was still in use in at least one classroom through the 2013-2014 academic year.

Therefore we will leave this section standing so that visitors can read for themselves the chapters used in Newton schools as well as criticisms of the Notebook by a educational, community, and religious groups.

Below are Notebook chapters we know were used in Newton schools at least through 2012. Other chapters may have been used as well.

The next page (Reviews of the Arab World Studies Notebook) contains some reviews of the Notebook published in past years.

All material can be downloaded or read online, and has been checked for viruses and malware.

SelectionFile type iconFile nameDescriptionSizeRevisionTimeUser
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This is the text that began the discussion on inaccuracy and bias in some high school history material. The false and defamatory anti-Israel statement is outlined in yellow on page 113.   9923k v. 1 Mar 2, 2015, 6:21 AM Newton Excellence
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  14575k v. 1 Mar 2, 2015, 5:00 PM Newton Excellence
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  May 20, 2015, 7:40 PM Newton Excellence
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See notes on pages 1-3. In addition, the population figures set forth on p. 4 (Islam in America) are incorrect. According to the well-respected Pew Research Foundation, there approximately 1.6 million Muslims in the U.S. (not 6 million as stated), making Islam the fourth most populous U.S. religion after Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.   19919k v. 1 Mar 2, 2015, 6:39 AM Newton Excellence
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  14125k v. 1 May 20, 2015, 6:40 PM Newton Excellence
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Students are asked to state whether quotations originate from the Old Testament, New Testament, or Koran. The fact that the pre-test is on purely religious subject matter renders it unfit for students in a public school world history class.  Mar 2, 2015, 5:09 PM Newton Excellence
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The text contains several inaccuracies; for example at the time it was written modest dress may have once been more popular among the upper classes in Egypt (it is not now), but this was not true in other Muslim nations. Also, studies have shown that 'modest dress' does not provide protection against sexual harassment. There are other inaccuracies and biases as well.  3691k v. 1 Mar 2, 2015, 5:15 PM Newton Excellence