Tensions between Delaware’s Department of Education and local educators grew during Mark Murphy’s three years as secretary. It is a divide, colleagues say, that veteran educator Steven Godowsky, who is set to replace Murphy this fall, can begin to repair
Murphy did his job according to the Markell / Rodel script. Murphy did what he was told and go the job done advancing the political agenda!
Murphy’s tenure has seen Delaware implement a rush of reforms, but he has faced outrage from teachers and parents in battles over issues like the state’s controversial Priority Schools plan for Wilmington schools and the debate over whether parents should be able to pull their kids out of the state’s standardized test
Murphy didn’t rush reform! Murphy ran with Markell’s reform ball and the NJ said by cheering the change agent Markell.
Murphy was the subject of a no-confidence vote by the Delaware State Education Association, and the Delaware Association of School Administrators found 9 out of 10 administrators didn’t have confidence in the department.
And Markell was rewarded with a second-term by the same groups. So when will Jack Markell get his spanking!
Many educators hope Godowsky’s tenure will see less combat and more collaboration.
Gadowsky serves at the pleasure of Governor Markell and the radical changes is needed in the governor’s office.
State Rep. John Kowalko, one of Murphy and Markell’s fiercest critics, hopes that Godowski’s extensive experience could be beneficial.
“[Markell] needs somebody with some experience who can challenge him,” Kowalko said. “I have optimism that [Godowsky] is that person.”
Kowalko says it’s not likely Godowsky will be able to push through any transformative changes with a little more than a year left in Markell’s term, but he could help to rebuild trust in state leadership.
The damage is done and now we all suffer until Markell’s out of office.
The issue of experience was a sore point among some educators with Murphy.
Last legislative session, state Sen. Bryan Townsend proposed a bill that would tighten the job requirements for secretary of education to require at least 10 years in a school system, including at least five as a classroom teacher. Townsend argued the state’s top education leader should have a better idea of what it’s like to be a teacher.
Though Townsend said the bill wasn’t aimed directly at Murphy, the secretary had only three years in the classroom and thus wouldn’t have met the bill’s requirements.
Murphy was a PE teacher and Godowsky is very seasoned and is the right person based on experience. However, will he be another Markell pool boy ?