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Robert Runcie Named New Broward School Superintendent

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) -- The Broward School Board has named its new superintendent and it is Robert Runcie.

Runcie is currently the chief of staff at Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the nation.  His track record includes shutting down poor performing school and removing ineffective principals and teachers.  He's been credited with implementing technology into the schools while reducing costs.

What makes him different is he was at one time a small business owner who did consulting. He's never been a teacher or principal.

"We have no shortage of educators who understand what the classroom looks like, we need leadership," says Runcie.

In that arena Runcie says he is the person who can boost student achievement, raise graduation rates and restore the public confidence in a school system that has seen two board members arrested on corruption charges and three blistering grand jury reports that labeled the district mismanaged.

"Those things are operational, we need to move those issues off the table and we'll do that in short order," said Runcie.

Runcie replaces Jim Notter, who resigned from the district in June. He was selected from a pool of 47 applicants. The school board selected six semi-finalists before narrowing their choice to two candidates -- Runcie and Bernard Taylor Jr., superintendent of the Grand Rapids school district in Grand Rapids, Mich.

After the vote, school board member Nora Rupert commented, "We have a new direction with a new board, a new direction with the superintendent so things are changing.  It's not your grandfather's board anymore.

Teacher Union president Pat Santeramo says he will take a wait and see approach to the new superintendent.  Under the previous superintendent Jim Notter the relationship between the district and teachers was strained.

"The choice is the board's.  We will work together.  It's about collaboration, not an adversarial role," said Santeramo.

The school board authorized contract negotiations with Runcie, whose start date has not yet been determined.


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