Jason Stanford has written a jaw-dropping article about what happened to the professor who debunked standardized testing. It’s not pretty.

Walter Stroup, a professor at the University of Texas College of Education, made a remarkable discovery about standardized tests: “what the tests measured was not what students have learned but how well students take tests.”

He shared what he learned with the Texas legislature in 2012, as the testing rebellion was heating up across the state among parents. Legislators had long clung to the dogma that the way to improve test scores was to test more and make the tests harder. The state had recently signed a big contract with Pearson to deliver the tests.

“Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry.”

After 15 years of high-stakes testing, the state was still waiting for the promised results. What they got instead was a huge number of students who could not graduate high school and a parent uprising against testing.

What happened to Stroup was alarming. Pearson tried to discredit his research. Pearson has some high-powered lobbyists on its payroll in Texas.

“Stroup had picked a fight with a special interest in front of politicians. The winner wouldn’t be determined by reason and science but by politics and power. Pearson’s real counterattack took place largely out of public view, where the company attempted to discredit Stroup’s research. Instead of a public debate, Pearson used its money and influence to engage in the time-honored academic tradition of trashing its rival’s work and career behind his back.”

But even more alarming, the Pearson Foundationade was already a major benefactor of Stroup’s employer, the University of Texas College of Education.

“In retrospect, Stroup might have anticipated that the UT College of Education wouldn’t celebrate his scholarship on standardized tests. In 2009, the Pearson Foundation, the test publisher’s philanthropic arm, created a $1 million endowment at the College of Education, which in turn engendered the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research, an endowed professorship, and an endowed faculty fellowship.

“Tax law allows corporations to establish charitable foundations. What tax law doesn’t allow is endowing a nonprofit to supplement the parent corporation’s profit-driven mission. Last December, Pearson paid a $7.7 million fine in New York state to settle charges that the Pearson Foundation “had helped develop products for its corporate parent, including course materials and software,” reported The New York Times. There is some evidence that the same thing is going on at UT, mainly because Pearson said so in a press release posted on the College of Education’s website:

“Pearson Foundation’s donation underscores the company’s dedication to designing and delivering assessments that advance measurement best practice, help ensure greater educational equity and improve instruction and learning in today’s global world,” wrote Steve Dowling, Pearson executive vice president. “Through our endowment with The University of Texas at Austin, we are investing in technology-driven assessment research that will promote and personalize education for all.”

Six months after Stroup testified before the Legislature, he learned that his tenure was in jeopardy.

The story is not over. It is about politics and power. It is not about what’s best for children or how to improve education.