Robert Scott named to head Texas Education Agency

Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Acting Education Commissioner Robert Scott to head the Texas Education Agency yesterday. The Houston Chronicle carried the Associated Press story.

Some Texas educators are disappointed that no one like Mike Moses got the job. Moses is a long-time public school educator who was a very popular and knowledgeable. But disappointment was tempered by relief for what might have happened. Gov. Perry earlier in 2007 named a creationist and hard-back conservative to chair the State Board of Education. Scott is not thought to be that deep into right-wing political ideology.

Scott is a policy wonk, coming out of legislative staff to staff TEA. This is the second time he was acting commissioner. Oddly, he is so little known that it is unclear whether he is the Robert Scott who appears to have acted contrary to ethics and law in an earlier TEA contract problem, or whether it was another TEA employee also named Robert Scott. People who would usually know the difference in such situations, appear not to know in this one.

Were there a stock market in state educational attainment, Texas’s stock would have dropped 8% yesterday, with analysts saying it was better than the expected 12% decrease.

Can teachers alone save Texas’s education system? It’s a risky experiment.

(Text of TEA press release below the fold.)


R i c k P e r r y

Gov. Perry Names Robert Scott Texas Commissioner of Education

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today named Robert Scott as Texas Commissioner of Education. Scott, who has served as interim Education Commissioner since June 2007, has been an integral part of raising the bar for scholastic achievement and success in Texas for more than 15 years.

“Robert Scott is the right choice to lead Texas’ education system toward continued success and new benchmark achievements,” said Perry. “With an unmatched record of service and commitment to Texas’ students, Robert has the experience and dedication needed to raise the bar in classrooms and make sure students receive a top-notch education that prepares them for success in and out of school.”

Scott served four years as Chief Deputy Commissioner of Education, managing daily operations for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). By overseeing development of new assessment and accountability systems, Scott championed efforts to raise standards and promote rewards for effective teachers. During that time he also established initiatives to strengthen early childhood and high school education.

In 2003, Scott served as interim Commissioner of Education and oversaw a massive restructuring of the TEA, which resulted in more than $37 million in savings for Texas taxpayers. Previously, Scott served as a senior advisor for public education to Gov. Perry, acting as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and various education groups and entities throughout the state. He has served as an education advisor in the Texas Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and as an advisor to Commissioners of Education Mike Moses and Jim Nelson.

“With Robert Scott at the helm of the Texas Education Agency, I am confident Texas will continue to be a national model for student achievement, accountability and innovation,” said Perry.

Scott received a bachelor’s and law degree from the University of Texas and is the father of two children who attend public school in Austin ISD.

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