New Delaware education secretary seeks a system of schools that work “for all children”

Delaware’s new Secretary of Education addressed educational challenges, the impact of charter schools, teacher effectiveness and other issues as he took questions from lawmakers Wednesday.

Mark Murphy appeared before the House Education Committee, one week after his confirmation by the State Senate. Murphy was nominated by Governor Markell to replace former Education Secretary Lillian Lowery, who left last month for a similar position in Maryland.

Murphy explained his main goal and vision: “every single one of our children has the opportunity to wake up every single morning and go to a school that is excellent.”

“We can build a system of schools where every single school provides students with opportunities, that they’re excited to be there, they’re achieving at high levels so that when they leave that school they’re ready for that next step in life,” Murphy added.

The Secretary, who previously was executive director of a school-focused coalition known as the Vision Network, also said he would like to take a look at the way charter schools are authorized, held accountable and renewed. “And that’s on us, to ensure that those structures are in place so that people have a highly functioning system to work with,” Murphy said.

The beginning of Murphy’s term coincides with various reform and improvement initiatives in Delaware, which was awarded $119-million as one of a few states to qualify for Race to the Top federal funding.

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