“From its origins at the Gablers? kitchen table in Hawkins, Tex., in 1961 to its incorporation as Educational Research Analysts in 1973, the mom-and-pop textbook-criticism enterprise grew to occupy a prominent niche in the nation?s conservative pantheon. For more than four decades, the couple influenced what children read, not just in Texas but around the country.
“The reason was Texas’ power to be a national template; the state board chooses textbooks for the entire state, and of the 20 or so states that choose books statewide, only California is bigger than Texas. It is difficult and costly for publishers to put out multiple editions, so a book rejected by Texas might not be printed at all. . . Texas has the buying power to influence the development of teaching materials nationwide, and a textbook edition chosen for Texas often becomes the sole edition available.”
“The Gablers were first to seize on the Texas textbook process as a means of pushing their conservative principles, and their success baffled and angered civil liberties advocates and progressive educators. Publishers, with much to lose if Texas rejected their books, were often willing to make changes to please the Gablers.”