Elected Experience: No information submitted
Other Professional Experience: Not a politician, Dr. Al Runte is a nationally recognized educator, historian and author who would lead reform of our public schools. An environmental historian, Dr. Runte was prominently featured in Ken Burns’s popular PBS TV series on national parks. He’s authored five books including: National Parks: The American Experience and is: former University of Washington Assistant Professor of History; former Assistant Director of Environmental Studies, Baylor University; former Director: National Parks Conservation Association and National Association of Railroad Passengers
Education: B.A. Binghamton University; M.A. Illinois State University; Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
Community Service: Member, Seattle Neighborhood Coalition
Statement: My roots come from a family deeply committed to education. My mother had a 23-year career with New York’s public schools, and in retirement served on her local school board. My brother taught middle school math for 10 years. I began my education career teaching high school history. My university courses at UW were highly rated by students. Why? Teaching is all about holding students’ interest in learning challenging subject matter.
Smaller class sizes are nice. What is taught and learned inside the classroom is more important. National-test-driven schools cannot possibly recognize that every child, teacher, state and community is different.
It is unacceptable that children today, due to faulty curriculums and inadequately compensated teachers, are not getting the basic education they deserve. As Superintendent I would place increased emphasis on providing quality classroom teaching and eliminate excessive bureaucratic rules that only hinder good teaching.
Needed reform is long overdue. All students have a right to an excellent education. That means having the opportunity to learn to read, write and be proficient in basic math, science and civics (yes, including American history). Everyone should look back at their schooling as contributing to their success in life.