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July 10, 2020 1:24 pm

Kenneth Marcus Steps Down From Top US Education Department Civil Rights Post

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Kenneth Marcus. Photo: Louis D. Brandeis Center.

Kenneth Marcus announced on Thursday he was stepping down from his position as assistant secretary for civil rights at the US Education Department.

“Today, I announced that I will be returning to private life,” the 53-year-old Marcus tweeted. “It has been my honor to direct the talented and committed staff of @EDcivilrights and I am grateful to @POTUS & @BetsyDeVosED for trusting me with the important task of protecting our nation’s students.”

“Throughout my tenure, @EDcivilrights has reinforced its status as a neutral, impartial civil rights law enforcement agency that fully and faithfully executes the laws as written — no more and no less — focusing carefully on the needs of each individual student,” he added. “As a result, and thanks to the hard work of staff, @Edcivilrights has achieved remarkable things during challenging times, including resolving thousands of civil rights complaints with change, and greatly reducing OCR’s backlog.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement, “I am so thankful for Ken’s strong leadership over the last two years. He helped drive incredible results for students by vigorously enforcing civil rights laws, expanding protections from discrimination, and refocusing OCR on resolving cases efficiently and effectively. He has been a tremendous asset to us and an ally to students, and I will always be grateful he agreed to return to government service to join the President’s and my team. While we are sad to see him go, I know in his next professional chapter he will further build on his successful career of advocating for the civil rights of America’s students.”

Marcus’ confirmation to the Education Department position in 2018 had been opposed by BDS groups, who accused him of seeking to stifle pro-Palestinian student activism.

One of Marcus’ many tasks was administering the Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism that President Donald Trump issued last December, affirming civil rights protections for Jewish students, amid concerns over rising antisemitism on American campuses.

Before taking the assistant secretary role, Marcus served for nearly a decade as president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.

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