Education A National Roundup

Obituary: Influential Texas Critic of Textbooks Dies

By Sean Cavanagh — January 04, 2005 1 min read

Melvin F. Gabler, whose efforts to rid school textbooks of what he viewed as left-wing and anti-Christian content had an impact far beyond his native Texas, died Dec. 19 after suffering a fall and a massive brain hemorrhage. He was 89.

Melvin F. Gabler

Mr. Gabler and his wife, Norma, spent more than 45 years combing through public school textbooks in science, mathematics, history, reading, and other subjects. They founded a nonprofit organization devoted to that work, Educational Research Analysts, based in Longview, Texas.

Mr. Gabler described the organization, which reviewed textbooks for biased and inaccurate content, as having a conservative Christian mission. While the group focused on textbooks submitted for state adoption in Texas, the Gablers’ recommendations have shaped academic materials nationwide because the state’s hefty share of the market makes publishers quick to cater to its requirements.

Educational Research Analysts and Norma Gabler will continue the organization’s work, said Neal Frey, its senior textbook analyst. Mr. Frey recalled his former colleague as both kind and meticulous.

“He would always remind me, ‘Your credibility is on the line,’ ” Mr. Frey said last week. “He never got after me for wanting to take more time” on a project.

A version of this article appeared in the January 05, 2005 edition of Education Week