May 1, 2012
Commissioner Robert Scott announces resignation
AUSTIN -Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced today that he will resign his office, effective July 2 on the fifth anniversary of his appointment to the state’s highest public education post.
Scott, 43, began his career at the Texas Education Agency in 1994 as an assistant director of governmental relations.
“I’ve been here since Jon was one and Katie was three months old,” he said, referring to his children. “It’s time.” Both children have now graduated from Texas public schools.
Scott, a lawyer, has dedicated his career to education policy matters, whether serving as a congressional aide, education aide to Gov. Rick Perry or through a variety of jobs at TEA, including serving as interim commissioner and deputy commissioner.
As a parent of public school children, Scott could see firsthand how policies he helped craft impacted the classroom. His children’s involvement in the fine arts, for example, convinced him of the importance of this area of study, causing him to be a steadfast advocate for the arts and the important role they play in the schools.
Other highlights of Scott’s career include:
- increased emphasis on early childhood and pre-kindergarten education through the development of pre-K curriculum standards and other school readiness initiatives;
- the establishment of the Texas High School Project, a public-private partnership that worked to improve college readiness and high school graduation rates;
- creation of the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) initiative, an idea which has now been adopted by many states;
- working with the State Board of Education to improve the state’s curriculum standards, which form the backbone of instruction in the public schools. Last month, the SBOE adopted strengthened mathematics standards on a 14-0 vote.
- creation of Project Share, a free global online learning community where educators collaborate, share resources and showcase accomplishments. Less than two years old, Project Share already has 900,000 subscribers, including about 600,000 students.
“It’s been a privilege to serve as commissioner. I want to thank Gov. Perry for entrusting me with this job. I also want to thank the State Board of Education for working with me to provide the best public schools possible for our students,” Scott said.
Scott served as interim commissioner of TEA from Aug. 1, 2003 to Jan. 12, 2004 and again from July 2, 2007 to Oct. 15, 2007, before being appointed as commissioner on Oct. 16, 2007.
Scott is the only person to twice serve as interim commissioner and is now the fourth-longest serving commissioner in the agency’s history. No one has had a longer tenure in the past 20 years.
Although there were many new initiatives begun during his tenure, it also fell to Scott to twice oversee drastic downsizings of TEA during a budget crisis. This prompted reorganizations of the agency and the way it operates.
“As someone who has risen through the ranks, I’ve seen firsthand the dedicated service provided by TEA employees. I want to thank them for their unwavering devotion to Texas children,” he said.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to the educators who work tirelessly in our schools. I can’t thank them enough.”