Veteran education policy expert Robert Scott was appointed Commissioner of Education by Governor Rick Perry on October 16, 2007. In this role, Mr. Scott serves as the head of the Texas Education Agency, which oversees the state’s 1,200 school districts and charter schools.
Robert Scott has long been considered one of the most thoughtful and innovative education policy experts in state government. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and a member of the State Bar, Mr. Scott has provided strategic leadership to the Texas Education Agency for the past five years, serving as the agency’s chief executive during a massive reorganization of its functions in the summer of 2003. In January 2004, Scott was appointed Chief Deputy Commissioner, a position in which he has been responsible for the daily operations of the agency and the implementation and execution of key statewide initiatives. Mr. Scott’s organizational abilities were on display during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Texas took in about 46,000 students who had fled the storm-ravaged areas of Louisiana and Mississippi; many were displaced again a few weeks later when Hurricane Rita slammed the Southeast Texas coast. The agency received widespread acclaim for its response.
Mr. Scott served as senior policy advisor to Governor Perry during the creation of the Texas High School Initiative in 2003 and was instrumental in the bill’s passage and implementation. The initiative, now called the Texas High School Project, has been considered by several national voices as perhaps the nation’s most cutting-edge reform project in secondary education. Mr. Scott has also been a noted advocate for improved early childhood education and has pressed for the improvement of school readiness for pre-kindergarten-aged children. Scott’s further interests include charter school innovation, incentive awards for teachers, and a renewed focus on health and fitness and the arts in public schools.
Mr. Scott is the proud father of two teenagers, Katie and Jonathon, who attend school in the Austin Independent School District.