In 1961, Norma and Mel Gabler were a quiet couple living in Hawkins, Texas. One day, they noticed some factual errors in their son's school book. What began as a small complaint morphed into a multi-decade crusade to shape what children of Texas — and therefore the country — read in their textbooks. In an election year with raging debates around education, this audio documentary charts how Texas dictated American education over the last sixty years and examines how the fight over our childrens’ classroom has only intensified today.
Chapter 1: Under God
On the outskirts of Hawkins, Texas, a couple found a problem in one of their kids’ school books. They didn’t have a background in education, but because they lived in Texas, their concern ignited a national movement and several decades of influence over what the rest of the country learned.
Chapter 2: The More Sex You Teach...
By the 80s, Norma and Mel had gained real traction in the textbook industry. And with their newfound power, they start dictating what goes into textbooks. They threaded their conservative Christian beliefs into textbooks across the nation, with little regard for separating fact from opinion.
Chapter 3: The Pilgrimage to Longview
When the Gablers’ protégé, Neal Frey, gained control of Educational Research Analysts…he took a different approach. Grace journeys to Longview, Texas to meet the man himself and witness the last vestige of the Gablers’ enterprise.
Chapter 4: What Sleeping Rocks Dream Of
Nowadays, standards known as TEKS dictate what every Texas student needs to learn. The State Board of Education is in charge of approving these standards. So, when a creationist dentist gained control of the board, those standards started to reflect his beliefs – for better or worse.
Chapter 5: The Latest Bogeyman
Critical race theory. It’s the latest rallying cry for people attempting to disrupt trust in public education. What do we lose when parents vilify educators? To find out, Grace pays a visit to the Texas suburb at the center of the national conversation.
Chapter 6: Who Draws the Line?
Library books aren’t required reading like textbooks are, but they can play a big role in a child’s education. As activists and politicians bring book banning back into the education debate, one group of Texas parents are fighting back. They want their kids to read stories that center diversity – and in the case of one contentious book, they won.
Important but flawed
Thorough and well documented, but it got heavy handed in its bias at times (as well as unnecessarily personal), which, unfortunately, I think will only serve to tune out the people that need to hear it the most.
Right Wing Christian Evangelicals
They are ruining our country. I am fed up with people shoving their religion down our throats. I binged this podcast in 3 days. It’s disgusting how vile their beliefs are.
Excellent - And So Important
This podcast is excellent, and this is critical information that the citizens of Texas need to know. The history of Texas education, going back to the 1960s, is a history of a small group of dedicated people calling the shots for the entire state, and in many cases,’the country. The ties to Christian nationalism are clear and undisputed. If yo’ listen to one episode (and you should listen to them all), listen to Epis’de 7. Because it should matter to every citizen that our social studies TEKS haven’t been revised in 13 years, and will not be revised until 2025. Julie Pickren was elected to the SBOE, the Hillsdale charter is a reality, there is a concerted effort to bring down public ed in this state - and concerned citizens (hello, teachers!) need to speak up and vote!