20 AGs Call on U.S. Education Secretary DeVos to Maintain Protections for Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault

Attorneys General from 20 states, including Delaware’s Matt Denn, sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing their concern over reports the U.S. Department of Education is preparing to roll back important protections for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses and urging her to keep these protections in place. The Attorneys General also called on Secretary DeVos to work collaboratively with them to take action to end the scourge of sexual violence on our campuses.

“For the current administration in Washington and the federal Education Department to consider undoing protections currently in place for those who have survived sexual assault on a campus flies in the face of the progress the country has made – and that remains to be made – in confronting this serious issue,” Attorney General Denn said.

The Department of Education’s current guidance was first issued in 2011 and later clarified in 2014. The guidance instructs colleges on how they must address sexual assault incidents under Title IX. These steps include appointing a Title IX coordinator, requiring mandatory reporting by responsible school officials, and implementing procedures for handling investigations and hearings.

Of particular concern to the Attorneys General were the comments from Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, who claimed that 90 percent of campus sexual assault allegations “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.’”

The letter reaffirmed the Attorneys General’s commitment to working collaboratively with Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to address the problem of sexual assault, including suggesting the Secretary engage with a bipartisan group of Attorneys General and other stakeholders to discuss collaboration.

Read text of the letter and list of signatories here.


Governor Carney Announces Kimberly Krzanowski as Executive Director of Office of Early Learning

Krzanowski to begin April

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney announced today Kimberly Krzanowski, a long-time leader and advocate for early learning in the state, as the new executive director of the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.

Photo of Kim KrzanowskiKrzanowski has more than 16 years of experience in early learning as a former early childhood teacher, center administrator and higher education faculty member, most recently as instructional director/Education Department chair at Delaware Technical Community College.

“We must ensure all children get to kindergarten ready to learn. Kim is the right leader to help us do this,” said Governor John Carney. “Kim will help our state build stronger connections between early learning and our K-12 schools.”

Krzanowski will join the Office of Early Learning on April 3.

As executive director of the Office of Early Learning, Krzanowski also will maintain support for Delaware Stars, the state’s quality rating system for early childhood centers, and help Delaware provide children and families with the early intervention and coaching they need to ensure the children are ready for school.

“Kim has dedicated her career to advocating for our youngest learners, ensuring they receive access to high quality care and education. I am excited to welcome her to the Delaware Department of Education,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting.

Krzanowski also has served on numerous advisory boards and statewide committees to implement policy changes that are needed to ensure all children have a strong foundation from the beginning. These committees include T.E.A.C.H® Early Childhood Delaware, Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development, New Castle County Vocational School District Early Childhood Career Program and the Delaware Early Childhood Professional Development Strategic Planning Committee.

As instructional director for Education Programs at Delaware Technical Community College, Krzanowski has collaborated with community stakeholders to develop partnerships amongst numerous school districts and early learning organizations. Additionally, she has provided executive leadership to faculty, students and a nationally accredited child development lab school.

Krzanowski holds a Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Delaware, a Master’s degree in instruction from Wilmington University and is currently working toward her Doctorate degree in educational leadership with a concentration on the early childhood workforce at Wilmington University.

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Murphy Sworn in as New Secretary of Education

Murphy Sworn in as Secretary of EducationThe Delaware Department of Education is under new leadership after the swearing-in this morning of Secretary Mark Murphy. Governor Jack Markell officiated at the ceremony at DDOE offices in Dover. Secretary Murphy was surrounded by his family — including wife Erika, a teacher, and his parents — and DDOE staff for the official event.

Secretary Murphy was nominated by Governor Markell on April 27, 2012. He was confirmed by the State Senate on May 9, 2012.

Secretary Mark MurphyMurphy, a former teacher and principal, most recently served as executive director of the nonprofit Vision Network, supporting 26 schools across Delaware to build teacher capacity and improve education outcomes. Prior to that role, he was executive director of leadership development at New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit.
There, he designed and implemented cutting-edge school leadership standards and assessments. He also led the successful development of more than 200 school principals across 10 cities.

The time he spent working in schools as a teacher and principal orients him to thinking about policy from the ground level, knowing how what is written on paper translates in reality. The time he spent working in hundreds of schools across the country during his nonprofit leadership work also gives him the perspective of how educators are working in other contexts. And as a father of children in Delaware public schools, he also sees the system from a parent’s point of view.

He was honored to accept the Governor’s nomination and the Senate’s confirmation because of the opportunity to support and improve public education.

Secretary Mark Murphy speaks“Some of the most exciting work that I’ve seen is here in Delaware – educators working together in innovative ways,” Murphy said. “We must continue to look for ways to ensure Delaware’s system is supporting — and not encumbering — the people closest to our children, empowering them to do their work.”

Murphy will continue to lead the Delaware Department of Education to implement the aggressive school improvement work in the state’s top-ranked federal Race to the Top plan.

“The focus for me is on implementation. That’s about sweating the details,” Murphy said. “We must make sure that all we are doing is touching our teachers and children in a way that is positive and supportive.”

“Strong public schools remain critical to our long-term economic success. Secretary Lillian Lowery and her team have created a strong foundation. We must continue to build upon that work in order to keep moving Delaware forward,” Markell said. “I know Mark Murphy will hit the ground running. He brings a teacher’s heart, principal’s perspective and years of data-driven experience to his new role.”