Monday, December 20, 2004
The best memorial I can imagine to the late Mel Gabler, the longtime Texas textbook guru who died yesterday, would be for all of us to do a much, much better job of monitoring what’s in the textbooks our tax dollars are paying to put in front of our children.
We need to do what he did: get our hands on those textbooks, record things in them that just aren’t so or have too much ‘’spin,’’ and then go to the policymakers and money-spenders in K-12 education, and squawk.
Gabler and his wife, Norma, have worked for 40 years reading textbooks and exposing errors in them. I have used their website, www.textbookreviews.org a number of times.
They traveled from their home in Longview to Austin faithfully for years to attend meetings of the Texas State Board of Education and its textbook review process. They heavily influenced textbook selection in that key state simply by telling the truth about textbooks, something nobody else was doing. Interviewed by national media a number of times, they went a long way toward getting rid of a lot of the Political Correctness, historical revisionism, and just plain hooey that otherwise might have gotten through.
Here’s hoping that spirit of public service on behalf of schoolchildren will spread throughout the land.
Rest well, Mr. Gabler. Job well done.
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