Carnegie Foundation Recommends That All High School Students Learn About the Holocaust

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in its plan released last week on how to improve American high schools, recommended that all students learn about the Holocaust.

The report, written by Ernest Boyer, president of the Princeton, N.J. -based foundation, made the suggestion in a section discussing the need for students to learn the roots of Western civilization.

This is the first time that a major-non Jewish national educational organization has urged that the Holocaust be taught to students, according to Bob Hochstein, a spokesman for the Carnegie Foundation.

The Foundation has been a major influence in the American school curriculum and the report is expected to play a significant role in the changes now going on to improve American education.

Boyer, a former U.S. Commissioner of Education, noted in the report that courses in Western civilization should “record moments of high achievement as well as dark chapters in our history. The Holocaust, for example, needs to remain a part of our shared remembrance of human failure and the capacity that exists for the destruction of human life and dignity. Students need to face the fragile conditions which exist in our contemporary society and become fully aware of the web that we call civilization and how easily it can be torn asunder.”

When Boyer, a Quaker, was chancellor of the State University of New York, he helped establish an exchange program of students and faculty between SUNY and Tel Aviv University. For this he was awarded Tel Aviv University’s Presidents Medal in 1971.

In 1979, while Commissioner of Education, he arranged a series of colloquia with Israeli and American educators on the education of disadvantaged children.

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