Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie spoke at a recent meeting

Runcie spoke on his goals for the school district and how over the years, efforts have been made to correct various problems.

“I want our schools to be second to none. Our public education system is a great equalizer and allows people to pursue the American dream,” said Runcie. He described how he overcame humble beginnings and how he saw his parents struggle to earn a living. “I believe in public education and that kids matter.”

Runcie said that he believes the Broward public school system is the finest system in the nation and that some of the problems in the past have been solved. He said that Hollywood Hills High School has seen big improvements in its graduation rate. “The graduation rate for Broward Public Schools has improved to 91 percent,” he said. “We have a great district with great teachers.”

Runcie is proud of the district’s effort to develop a strong system wide debate program. He is also pleased with the district’s JROTC programs. Runcie wants to improve literacy for younger students and wants to ensure that by the end of the third grade  all students can read independently. Runcie wants to see more musical instruments in the schools and are arts programs.

“I want to see improvements in early learning among younger students, applied learning and college readiness,” said Runcie. “I want students to be able to relate to the world and solve real world problems. I want to see more robotics and computer science in high schools.”

Runcie is also proud of the SAT day program in the schools. High school juniors can take the SAT test during a school day rather than on weekends. Some students were unable to take the SAT on weekends because they could not get to the testing sites or had other obligations.

Runcie is pleased that since he became superintendent there have been fewer school suspensions, expulsions and arrests. When he took came to the district, Broward schools led the state in suspensions and expulsions. He was worked to develop other programs to deal with difficult students. Students are not being suspended for minor offenses.

Runcie expressed disappointment that the Florida Legislature sent less money to the public schools than he expected. He believes the legislators could have provided more money but chose not to. Overall, Runcie said he is pleased with the progress that Broward Public Schools are making and that the district’s teachers are working hard.