Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has tapped a former federal education official to be the next chief of the Texas Education Agency.
Michael Williams, a tea-party activist who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in the 25th Congressional District GOP primary this year, will succeed Robert Scott, who stepped down after five years.
Mr. Williams takes over at a time when Texas continues to rebuff federal officials on most education issues, including on the federally supported common-standards initiative and the Race to the Top grants. The state also is gearing up for a major trial in a lawsuit brought by school districts over big cuts the state has made to education.
During President George H.W. Bush’s administration, Mr. Williams served in the U.S. Department of Education as assistant secretary for civil rights. Most recently, he was an elected member of the Texas Railroad Commission.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as Former Federal Official Named Texas Chief