School Choice & Charters

Superintendent Works to Build Bridges with Charter Community

By Katie Ash — March 05, 2014 1 min read
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Education Week’s second annual Leaders to Learn From report is now online, and I’d like to turn your attention to one of the profiles (written by yours truly) that focuses on the relationship between Robert Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County schools in Florida and the charter sector there.

Historically, the Broward County school district has had a contentious relationship with the 95 charter schools that operate there. But that changed when Robert Runcie took office less than three years ago in 2011.

Instead of dismissing persistent concerns from the charter sector, Runcie took a different approach: He convened a summit with officials from the charter schools as well as relevant staff members from the district. During the meeting, the two groups went through each other’s concerns point by point and began to repair their relationship.

This particular profile is a great example of how much of a difference leadership makes when it comes to working with charter schools and building collaborative relationships with them. And it’s not just the charter community that Runcie has extended an olive branch to—he has also helped repair relations with the local teachers’ union as well as the parents and community in Broward after a series of scandals in the school board.

There is plenty to look through and learn from in this year’s report, and I encourage you to check out all 15 of the profiles, most of which include excellent photographs and videos to help tell the stories of education leaders who are making big changes to the way schools are run, from rural Alaska to sunny Arizona and everywhere in between.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.