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Burmaster says no to another term as state superintendent

State public school superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster says she will not run for a third term next spring.

She will have spent eight years in the office by next June, when her term ends.

Burmaster, 54, says she wants new challenges - and she's most interested in a more hands-on role in closing achievement gaps between students of various incomes.

Burmaster's announcement Monday came as a surprise. She appeared to be safe politically, and there were no public signs that a major challenger would run against her.

There's been talk that Burmaster might run for governor in 2010 if Jim Doyle doesn't. For now, at least, she says she'll move on in the educational field.

Her chief deputy, Tony Evers, says he'll run for superintendent next April and Burmaster says she'll support him.

Evers, 56, ran against Burmaster in 2001. But he lost in a primary.

Burmaster says it's been her goal to give every child a quality education.

Among other things, she's been an advocate for more early-childhood programs, smaller elementary class sizes, expanded foreign language programs, more meals for low-income kids and better career training.