Even though seemingly every Texas Republican has fled to Tampa for the Republican National Convention this week, Governor Perry made the surprise announcement Monday that Michael Williams has been named the state's newest Education Commissioner. Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds will be the chief deputy commissioner.
"High standards and accountable public schools are essential to our state’s future success, and no two people understand that better than Michael and Lizzette. Together, they will build on the improvements achieved during the tenure of Robert Scott and Todd Webster, and will ensure our children are prepared for the challenges of college and the workplace,” Gov. Perry said in a press statement. "Michael’s pioneering leadership in both public and private sectors, combined with Lizzette’s nearly two decades of public education experience guiding and implementing statewide reforms create a powerful and dynamic team that will fortify our state’s public education system."
The governor's office writes that Williams is the former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. He will replace Robert Scott, who resigned from the post in July. A statement from the Texas Education Agency says staff members "stand ready" to help Williams as he begins his new job on September 1.