Texas journalist Jason Stanford says it is time to recognize one of the heroes of the Education Spring: former Texas Commissioner Robert Scott, who bluntly said that high-stakes testing had grown too powerful and who warned that Common Core was intended to create a national curriculum and testing system. He came under a lot of criticism at the time and had to step down, but he has been proven right. The movement against high-stakes testing continues to escalate, and the number of states dropping out of Common Core seems likely to increase.

“Scott announced his resignation as Texas Education Commissioner in May 2012, but his public career effectively ended that January when he said that standardized testing had become a “perversion of its original intent.” Testing was wagging the dog, and Scott placed the blame on testing companies and lobbyists that have “become not only a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex.”

“You’ve reached a point now of having this one thing that the entire system is dependent upon. It is the heart of the vampire, so to speak,” said Scott, who stood by his remarks even as others failed to do the same for him.”

Texas was the heart of the testing movement, and a vast majority of local school boards passed resolutions opposing the misuse of testing. Even the Legislature took a stand against high-stakes testing. Much of that momentum can be credited to Robert Scott, who had the courage to speak out when it was unpopular. He is a hero of American education.