Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott Describes SBOE Curriculum Changes As “Payback”

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Rick Perry appointee and Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott described the process involving the curriculum changes under consideration by the SBOE as “payback” while testifying at a hearing at the Texas State Capitol.

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is in the middle of a six-hour hearing at the Capitol about the controversial curriculum changes the State Board of Education (SBOE) is considering to implement. The SBOE curriculum controversy has made national news for weeks now — from the Newsweek piece, “The Texas Curriculum Massacre” to a series of editorials across the state as early as January of this year, as documented by the Texas Freedom Network.

The first person to testify during the hearing was Robert Scott, Texas Education Commissioner. During his testimony, questions were raised about the curriculum process and why certain decisions were made. Scott responded to the questions by justifying the SBOE's controversial changes as “payback.

I transcribed the key part from his testimony — video archive will be available after the hearing:

“One of the things, I think, that has been a problem in all of our deliberations regarding – whether it’s education or anything else – is that when you push out a particular group, and say we don’t care about you, when you push out, regardless of who that is, over time that creates a problem. And when the pendulum swings back, you know, there’s – whether you call it payback or a shifting in the alignment – I think that we need to be mindful as we deliberate to try to prevent the pushing out of any group, regardless of who they are. And that’s what I think this process needs to be about.”

Scott's remarks are disgusting. Unequivocally disgusting.

Rick Perry's appointee, Robert Scott, has admitted the true purpose of the outrageous changes conservatives on the SBOE are considering: this is about political payback and placating the extreme wing of Republican Party of Texas. Scott is essentially saying that political payback is a justifiable reason for allowing a political agenda to determine what is being taught in our children's classrooms.

People across the country should be outraged at these ridiculous remarks. We need to elect new SBOE members who will put our kids above any political agenda. To help that right now, please donate to the following SBOE candidates who are working hard to put our kids first.

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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