What Broward School Superintendent Runcie’s Award Really Means?





Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie was named Florida Superintendent of the Year today.

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents gave Runcie the award and it’s always nice to be recognized by your peers.



Robert Runcie and his award (Facebook)


The downside of this is we will hear from the School Board that this proves Runcie is a terrific superintendent.

Let’s put this award in perspective.

The association is part of the educational establishment. That’s the same establishment that has gotten our schools in the mess they are in today.

The superintendent’s group is a brick in the barricade holding back change in our schools.

The superintendent’s group apparently believes the following paragraph in one of their news releases:

“As Florida continues to raise the educational bar and increase rigor and high standards; it is crucial that we do so with a clear understanding of all parameters that impact learning and consciously address the inadequacies, many of which relate directly to funding.”

Let’s get one thing straight. Florida public schools have not continued to “raise the educational bar” nor have they increased “rigor and high standards.”

If they have raised “the education bar,” why do superintendents believe they need more funding to address the “inadequacies?” Maybe because the education establishment default is always that more money will solve its problems. Preferably without having to change anything.

Money without reforming the system does not solve anything in the schools.

The proof is Newark where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the schools. It proved no panacea.

The superintendent’s association is a group of education insiders.

Insiders don’t like altering the status quo. Change means insiders could end up outsiders.

So education insiders fight and stall anything that smacks of change, whether it is charter schools, pairing the bureaucracy or making schools and spending more accountable.

Runcie got an award from his peers, fellow educators.

And this is the same guy that the School Board calls a “change agent.”

How much of a change agent is Runcie when he received an award from a group that is a bulwark of the education establishment?


28 Responses to “What Broward School Superintendent Runcie’s Award Really Means?”

  1. Talks like a politician says:

    Strange! The bureaucratic educators (superintendents) and politicians consistently change the target for rating teachers, schools, and students. However, they must keep the bar low for their own accountability if Runcie is the best the state of Florida has.

    Can’t wait for the PR spin by the School Board members (the majority who support him unconditionally) on this one!

  2. Zowie says:

    He’s a change agent all right. He wants every last piece of change we have in our pockets.

  3. carolina says:

    As I have said in so many of my comments regarding mr. Runcie – IGNORANCE IS BLISS. This award proves it.

  4. Snott VV Rothstein says:

    What Broward School Superintendent Runcie’s Award Really Means?

    All the people can be fooled.
    All of thee time.

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    There is no way this does not make those who criticize the “educational establishment” here in Broward County look bad! We must FACE FACTS, the majority of people in Broward County elected a School Board that I think does nothing but suit themselves and a Superintendent who has not improved the County Schools. But the people like me who say this have NOT convinced the “movers and shakers” or for that matter the “public”.
    I know that a certain police chief and a certain city manager in another county got State Awards and even National Awards and I think both broke Federal Laws, State Laws, and even country and municipal statutes, and I got satisfaction one got canned from his job and other goes from job to job. But that doesn’t change the facts that they won the awards, whatever happened later.
    I know for Mr. Nevins and Miss Greenbarg and Miss Hibbs and others this is a slap in the face for years and years of trying to correct things. However whoever said life is fair?
    So, the “fight” must GO ON! No matter what the “apparent” “hit” we get, we must continue until Runcie and his cronies are gone and the School Board has people of ethics and morals on its, not the majority of mental midgets we have now.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day, the Tweed Ring didn’t get ousted in one election, and Hercules didn’t get his Labours done in a week!
    Be of good cheer! It is better to fight the good fight than feast at the table of the Golden Calf!

  6. CitizenAware says:

    Hopefully this will make him really marketable and he will leave, real soon. He is a role model for mismanagement,
    an overseer of missing funds, and has not an iota of sense when it comes to employee relations.

  7. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    I share, as you know, your view of the public educational establishment. Your description portrays the behavior that attaches to any unchecked, elitist monopoly. That unhelpful structure aside, it bears mentioning that Runcie is not a free agent.

    He works for a board that directs the majority of his policy directions. Sure, he asks their support of things and sometimes he gets it sometimes not. But he must always support their policies whether he agrees with them or not. He is a hired, not elected operator.

    Specifically with respect to charter schools I can tell you that Runcie has been forced to lived a tortured life. He personally believes one thing is yet required by his politburo to do another.

    I dare say that left entirely to his own choices, the Broward school system in every respect and specifically their relationships with others in the education community would be decidedly better.

    For all these reasons and many more, I have long been completely convinced that public education in Broward County would be much better off with an elected Superintendent and a advisory school board appointed by PTA parents countywide. Our school district is simply way too large and complex to be run by any committee.

    Committee forms of government only work when the organization governed is small or has relatively few moving parts. There is no best practice for large, complex organizations being run by committees who must approve every contract, essentially micro-manage the thing without possibly even having the required credentials, that’s simply no way to run any multi-billion entity.

    The size of the task alone chokes — overwhelms the ability of any committee to govern it properly.

    Large, complex organizations need CEO’s to manage them properly. Broward’s continued reluctance to evolve is our chief enemy and we see the symptoms of it all around us. It’s just that simple. We stand in the way of our own progress because we put fear over success. And we shouldn’t because we are a very talented and able community of residents and businesses.

    Broward is so amazing and incredible a place, I wonder if people really even understand how truly marvelous a place this is. We deserve nothing less than the very best, yet we deprive ourselves of it out of fear. Out of lack of confidence. Committees seem so much more comforting. And in trading progress for comfort we end up in the inevitable place.


    That is the reality that scares the heck out of me but, anyhow…

    The point is Runcie himself has had his ups and downs in the management of the system, but if you take inventory of his accomplishments and compare them to the superintendents we’ve had over the past 25 years, he is far and away the best of the bunch.

    I do not always agree with the man but he is a very capable guy and for sure, by national standards, a very capable superintendent.

    In particular, he’d be well advised to realize that his organization will never get construction and maintenance of buildings right. This problem will be the end of him. It’s inevitable, predictable, it’s like watching a train crash about to happen.

    Thus he should seek out the better alternative to manage that huge yet necessary liability. The smartest approach in my view is an independent, outside group to handle those duties. I’ve suggested a school construction authority as the best model. The professionalism and distance from the school district culture will serve well in all respects.

    But hey, that’s his funeral.

    Two points. First, while I agree with your assessment of the public education monopoly has formed an elitist and self-serving sort-of politburo, I think that Runcie is walking the walk that his bosses expect of him. Whipping a guy for carrying out the policies and directives of his bosses doesn’t pierce the heart of the question here.

    Second, by any standard you choose, Bob Runcie is the best superintendent Broward County has had in decades. Even considering his good and bad days, he’s possibly the most capable manager they’ve ever had. Not perfect but good.

    He could have been much better had he been truly empowered to run that thing. And everything we hear about the district is simply a symptom of that one disease. That ship needs a captain not a committee to steer it.



    It tickles me that you argue that Runcie “left entirely to his own choices, the Broward school system in every respect and specifically their relationships with others in the education community would be decidedly better.” Would you leave your city manager in Pembroke Pines, where you are a commissioner, “entirely to his own choices?”

    Many of Runcie’s hiring choices for both his Cabinet (The name says a lot about him!) and the principals are been disasters. Remember the disaster with the bus transportation? How about his recent hire of a construction director, who ended up leaving (forced out???) after less than a year?

    My problem with Runcie is it is hard to believe anything he says. I have seen him falsify data, shade and spin the truth and repeatedly lie to the public and to his own Board. I’m not going to repeat these stories which were chronicled on Browardbeat.com over the years.

    The school grades in Broward have improved in some schools and fallen or stalled in others. The graduation rate is going nowhere.

    Does anybody believe that things are better under Runcie? Apparently not the parents who are fleeing in waves to charters and fill the waiting lists for your own Pembroke Pines charter schools.

    You say the school system is too big to be run by a committee. You are right in one respect. The Broward school system is too big to manage. It should be broken up along with other big county systems, if voters approve such a change.

    However, we disagree with being too big to be run by a committee, assuming the committee is the School Board.

    First of all, the School Board majority doesn’t run the school system. They rubber stamp everything Runcie wants.

    Second of all, this is a democracy and that school system is paid for through our tax money. We should have elected representatives oversee that money.

    Maybe the way to go is with another of your suggestions — an elected superintendent. It’s worth a try.

  8. juliet hibbs says:

    Count…thank you! It was a slap, but I have said, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Just sad what is allowed to happen to our students and Broward Schools police are used to cover up crimes. Then he wins this…so he and this self important group of women can continue to give each other awards. It is disgusting

  9. Calcetines says:

    They are all birds of a feather. So, what’s new?

  10. boca spin doctor says:

    Good one Buddy!

  11. Juliet Hibbs says:

    Commissioner Angelo Castillo,

    I can NOT agree that he is the best superintendent for decades. I NEVER saw ESE student populations used to CLEAN campuses under former leadership. I did not see the ADA or any other federal law violated (Civil rights, but that is decades ago). I NEVER saw crimes against staff and students covered up and then the victims become victims again at their hands. I have not see ANYTHING but lies from his administration.
    In June 2012, the entire board ordered Mr. Runcie to investigate the abusive leadership at DBHS and to this date, there has been no investigation according to public records.

    We reported rapes (4 sexual assaults in May 2012) and the victims were victimized by administration who never did one thing. Oh, the same boy headed into professional athletics. A young man beaten up by an assistant principal because he bought a bag of potato chips. According to Mr. Runcie, that never happened. It took me 2 years to track down a copy and it is now loaded on youtube.
    What about students being sabotaged to get to a teacher? What about Broward Schools billing the government (medicare or medicaid) for services they do not provide. Too many parents have complained about this for years. How about the transportation disaster? All because he had to hire his friend Chester Tindale. And what about all the cover ups of Mr. Tindale drunk at work and wreaking and SUV. Maybe that was another time they called Broward School Police, so they can claim Jurisdiction and cover everything up.

    Mr. Runcie has done a FABULOUS job on not ONE level! The bullying numbers are down, because they bully people into NOT filling. I have seen this first hand. Where a school resource officer and an assistant principal attempted to have a 12 year old change the story of his assault.

    Too many are silent! Too many cover up crimes against children in Broward Schools. If you are in the right clique, you can do NO wrong. If someone puts a target on your back, they keep coming until you break. That was why I was investigated for “Professional Misconduct: teacher possibly contributed to the students homosexuality” because I reported child abuse from those parents.

    Mr. Runcie is such a poor example of a human that he had David Golt suggest I was a sexual predator he couldn’t catch, because I gave a speech explaining all of his lies. I offer a copy of my case to anyone. Want a copy, my email is hibbsforchange@Gmail.com and I will get it to you in a couple of days.

    I see nothing good in what Runcie does. As for the Board, Rick Scott’s office has told many people that Runcie has NO boss and no one can make him do anything. The FDLE (Florida Division of Law enforcement) told me that Broward Schools Police and Mr. Runcie investigate themselves. There is no oversight!

    The things I have learned in the last 5 years

  12. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    We pointed out the corruption and waste and minority gap in public schools beginning in 1990. Nothing has changed. Reforms have been illusory. It’s not a slap in the face; it’s how the establishment rolls. It’s what they are.

    What are the constants?

    Begin with the entrenched educrats (a term I coined in the WSJ letter they published years ago.) They like to say boards and sup’ts. come and go, but we’re always here.

    Then look at the lobbyists and money that gets the boards elected. It’s a political machine much like Chicago, and as damaging.

    Then look at the majority, not all, of the board members the machine elects. Buck them and you suffer the consequences, as Nora has.

    The PTA depends on the system for everything it gets, e.g., complete access to students, parents and teachers for fundraising, dues, office space as I had in Dade. I know how much PTA/PTSA gets because I’m a past president.

    PTA has to do the system’s bidding or else lose access and funds. They communicate the system’s message to the families. And they lobby the Legislature with pretty much the same agenda, and do a lot of smiling and nodding.

    Does anyone really think the money has stopped flowing with the arrest of one Board member some years ago? Please.

    If the public school system doesn’t change, especially for the poor and minority students, the charter industry and private schools will continue to have families flock to them. Which is ironic, because the charters need more oversight.

    And the system will have brought it upon itself.

  13. Becky Blackwood says:

    If Superintendent Alberto Carvalho(spelling?) of Miami-Dade County Public Schools was named National Superintendent of the year, how did he get overlooked as the State School Superintendent of the year? Carvalho has certainly achieved far more successes than Runcie.

    With all of the great management skills, what has prevented the $800 million bond from getting off the ground?

  14. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Certain clarifications:

    1. When I said “decidedly better” I should have also said “than it is now.”

    2. “…entirely to his own choices..” was a reference intended to apply to elected, rather than appointed officials.

    3. He has indeed had mixed success choosing members of his team. That’s an issue that has afflicted many superintendents. I’ve already shared my view on the construction thing.

    4. As you say, more parents are leaving district schools in favor of options. They’re very happy to have options. That said, in fairness, we have many high quality district schools including just about all of the ones in my city. Some struggle. Many are good schools, but they don’t graduate enough kids. I can say that because in my system we graduate nearly all of them.

    5. They graduate way too few students, this is true (it was worth repeating).

    6. An elected superintendent isn’t just worth a try. It is essential, If we don’t get education right in Broward, this county’s ability to remain a forward real estate and business center is seriously threatened. This isn’t just about common sense, it’s also about dollars and cents.

    7. Last, allow me to respectfully reassert — your concerns with Runcie aside — that it remains true, by any objective measure you may wish to employ, that Bob Runcie is the best Superintendent of Schools that Broward County has had in decades. Quite possibly the best ever. I can’t think of a name that comes close, can you?



    Being superintendent of the Broward Schools public system is like being the faster driver on the Smart Car race team. Its a very, very low bar.

    How come Broward can never come close to Miami-Dade and their much acclaimed Superintendent Alberto Carvalho?

  15. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    If you wonder how good our Broward County School system is let me tell everyone a SCARY STORY. Earlier this year I took a high school student who seemed to be interested in history and politics to a event to meet some political leaders of his ethnic group and Mayor Seiler, Commissioner Trantalis, a former Mayor of Wilton Manors, and Mitch Cesar were kind enough to give him pointers about our local governments. Some time afterward I happen to run into him where he works and a fellow BROWARD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT was with him and they had short sleeves shirts. I noticed tattoos on his classmates arm, Moslem tattoos. The explanation was they were from an Arabic student organization he was a part of. NONSENSE they were Shia extremist tattoos I saw on a Moselm Shite years ago who preached death to the Jews and expel all non-believers (that means Christians) from the Middle East.
    I worked in New York City with, for, Moslems on and off for 30 years, had Moslem neighbors and actually represented a Moslem family that was threatened with eviction by a corrupt city-appointed housing management group. I know the difference between Moslems in America, Europe, and even the Gulf States who are Moslems but respect others’ Faiths and certainly American “Rope of Many Colours” culture. But, here in my own city, a high school is failing to teach a student that radical fundamental religious beliefs are poisonous. That is a failure that scares me more than the dumb women of the school board putting up with a management-challenged Superintendent because from my experience in Miami-Dade County this student would not be so “ignored” that he would run around with a terrorist logo on his arm and BELIEVE IT ITS MESSAGE!

  16. Juliet Hibbs says:

    That is a sad story of the sad state of things. Please understand his teachers can get caught up in investigations, abuse, discipline, violations to that teacher for even beginning to touch those topics. Poison for their careers. We are seeing new teachers believe this is the ENTIRE system and bail out. Veteran teachers come here, from other counties and states, and are shocked about the joke of the system in Broward and BAIL.

    I worked for AMAZING leadership during my early career in Broward. I was allowed to TEACH. Now, some schools, teachers must teach and reteach material until EACH child gets a 90% or above. They barely have time to do the job. Just getting through the material.

    I believe that people like Runcie have NO value in people. He wants to create MORE people he can snow. People that accept the smoke and mirror show as fact! This is why so many quality teachers are leaving Broward in DROVES. Why they paid all that money for web based job sites. To replace the disintegrating qualified staff. Couldn’t they do that in-house and NOT workman’s compensation insurance or self insure themselves on property insurance. These are both being used against students. staff and parents.

    Broward Schools is the largest employer in Broward and soon, this wont be the case. What will Broward begin to look like? I see a Detroit type future for Broward if change doesn’t begin to happen! If you are an employee and get violated….they violate you again and discipline the victim. You can’t speak out for yourself, your children or your students and not risk losing everything. I did! I risked and lost! But, I had an opportunity to become something else. I only ever wanted to teach and make a daily different in students lives. I had that dream! They stole it! Now, my new dream is of being an educational advocate. And I am!

    They (Runcie and the School Board) created me as an adversary! I only ever wanted a true investigation into Jon Marlow and his abusive leadership at DBHS. They ordered Runcie to do it and he did nothing. They won’t even follow through on their own orders. How can they lead anything? Where does the buck stop??? Sadly, no where, it is a giant merry-go-round. The patients are in charge of the asylum!

    Either the people will begin to demand more. Those of us that are vocal are few. More people need to rise. But when someone tells me how to do that or I can figure it out for myself….I guess I just continue the fight.

  17. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Congrats to Super Runcie. I thought he was a crook, he was no good, doing a crappy job, and then hold on, relax, whoops there it is he wins this award.. Eat cake tell them Bob…..

  18. Roger Moore says:

    sure, if having so few “highly effective” teachers that need to be paid bonuses is good thing, then YEA for him. More parents pulling their kids our of public schools. Charter schools being close that he allowed to be approved. Are test scores up? Graduation rates? Have they accomplished a single thing in their long term plan? Spent any money from the bond?

  19. Good One says:

    The last Super who received this award was from Hillsbourgh County school system. Within a month after receiving the award the Super was fired by the Board !!!

    Can the Broward Super be as lucky as the Hillsbourgh Super ???


    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Tampa Bay Times
    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia, the hard-driving, highly decorated leader of the nation’s eighth-largest school district, was fired Tuesday by a new School Board majority that objected to her unusually generous three-year contract and the way she interacted with them…….

    In December, before the question of a contract termination landed on the board agenda, the Florida Association of District School Superintendents named Elia its Superintendent of the Year.

  20. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Miss Hibbs being a cultured n educated lady like Miss Greenbarg n like Mr Nevins must be raising not one but two sons to be gentlemen of the law give us a picture out of Metroplis the early magnificant German movie that perdicted an efficient heartless world. I still think the local community school not huge educational factories produce the best results n the basic building block is a teacher in a decent school building not a tacky trailer with a class between 15 to 20 N0 MORE! And well funded after school activities like arts sciences as well as sports.
    But millions here in Broward is wasted on non profits so people like Rosalind Osgood n Cynthia Bush can have a life style they couldnt get if they had to work for a living. “Superindent’s Cabinet” – is Mr Nevins pulling our leg? If a two bit county schools superintendent REALLY does this someone should point out his error – what he has is a CABAL!

  21. Plz Ask says:

    Ms. Charlotte #12. In a previous story I requested you ask Mr. Pat Reilly for an email dated February 25, 2013 and his response dated February 26, 2013. The email subject, Manager, Facility Audits position which was not advertised. If you remember I said I would be interested in your analysis of that email but more interested in your analysis of Mr. Reilly’s response.

    After reviewing and analyzing the information (FACTS) contained in the email, the manner in which the vacant position was processed was
    a.) Violation of SBBC Policy
    b.) Fraud
    c.) Both a.) and b.)
    d.) c.) with Superintendent approval (which makes it o k)

    The FACTS show the vacant position was
    a.) Not transparent and not available to neither the general public nor School District employees
    b.) Set up for a specific individual
    c.) Designed and orchestrated to deceive
    d.) All of the above

    After analysis, Mr. Reilly’s response could be categorized as
    a.) Typical School Board/District SPIN
    b.) Total nonsense
    c.) Shameful
    d.) All of the above

    Not sure if Mr. Reilly is blaming the email author as the cause the vacant position was not advertised, as Mr. Reilly repeatedly points out the author stated they were not interested and would not apply.

    Can not locate, in the email, any “disparaging comments” made against Mr. Reilly as he notes in his response. Actually, can not find ANY comments against Mr. Reilly in the email.

    Ms Charlotte, hope you did get the email and are willing to share your analysis.

  22. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    PlzAsk: Sorry, I was ill,had company, got better and went out of town. I haven’t seen it yet.

    Did you want the job and didn’t get it?

  23. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    On Hillsborough’s Elia: When two new members were elected, one of them made the majority against her. Elia campaigned for the opponent of the winner.

    From my standpoint, her major sin was that she used reserves to pay for operating expenses.

    Her supporters either didn’t know or didn’t want to know this was going on. I suspect they were clueless because they haven’t used their auditors as they should. I’m not excited about her replacement.

    But remember, the first rule for a sup’t. is to make sure the majority of the board likes you. Everything else is subordinate.


  24. Plz Ask says:

    Ms Charlotte #22. There may have been many individuals within the School District and from the general public who wanted the job and would have applied. However, no one had the opportunity to want or apply for the job as the vacancy was not advertised.

    The vacancy should NOT have been processed the manner in which it was processed ESPECIALLY coming from that department. Review the email, the response and FACTS referenced in the email and you decide.

    There are other FACTS, documented and verbal. There is one comment from Mr. Pat Reilly regarding an email to the then Director of Human Resources. That comment, in my opinion, would have brought a gleeful smile of approval both Michael Garretson (RIP) and Tom Lindner.

    The FACTS are the FACTS. What was said and done was said and done.

    In closing I Plz Ask you to do some research and seek the TRUTH..!!

  25. JustAsking says:

    @ Plz Ask

    It looks like you have lot of inside information of the School Board. Can shed some light on Isreal Canales (Runcie’s Driver)? How he become so powerful? Wait to listen from you?

  26. michael says:

    The education establishment intelligencia have anointed a new leader

    – a new Anti-Change Anti-Hero to lead Florida into a super-low expectation future that they envision…

    this is fact, and true but optimistically one might hope that this is primarily their hope and intent, not his, and that he will seize the moment, he may.

    The board is nine minds focused on one goal…

    why not have a school-city manager that does all the yucky stuff so the board at least occasionally gets to talk about education or kids?

    The board is addicted and must wean itself off of this over-focus on financial aspects while kids are unable to learn and teachers unable to teach…

    and it has nothing to do with money. This is doable – and the board will find it a huge relief once finally accomplished, and will find it much harder to do psychologically than in reality.

    We finally have a lens to view our failure through that makes sense and that lens is traumatic justice micro-stress complex post traumatic stress disorder – CPTSD for short – the Centers for Disease Control CDC and Health and Human Services HHS and now even the National Education Association NEA agree that there is a scientifically valid explanation for falling test scores that does not solely blame the tests themselves, nor teachers OR students OR parents.

    In fact – a lawsuit has been filed for a billion plus dollars by Teachers and Students in Compton California over CPTSD in district schools having damaged their children’s ability to learn – check it all out here – traumaandlearning.org – our Broward Mom’s and Kid’s and Teachers need to know about this and consider a class action suit if they wish to rescue our kids, here is why things are the way they are, for real – TRAUMAANDLEARNING.ORG

  27. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Only when we have strong intelligent educated PTAs will the schools improve as is proved time after time.

  28. Plz Ask says:

    JustAsking #25. I am not sure how powerful he is. If he is Superintendent Runcie’s Driver he probably has visibility around Broward County and in various circles. He seems to be very visible at School Board meetings. Is visibility is being accepted as power?