Superintendent of Education, Louisiana Department of Education
John White was named Louisiana State Superintendent of Education in January of 2012. That year he launched Louisiana Believes, the state’s plan to ensure every child is on track to college or a professional career. In the time since, White has worked to unify the state’s fragmented early childhood system, to modernize expectations for students, to empower teachers, to guarantee economic opportunity for high school graduates, and to provide families with expansive school options.
Since 2011, Louisiana’s high school graduation rate has risen by 3.2 percentage points. Roughly 5,000 more graduates annually achieve a college-going ACT score than did in 2011. Louisiana is now the nation’s fastest-improving state on Advanced Placement tests, increasing the number of students earning passing scores by 50 percent in that time. And the number of students entering college has grown by more than 3,100 - a 16 percent increase.
Prior to being named State Superintendent, White served as Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District, overseeing the nation’s first system of publicly-funded charter and non-public schools in New Orleans and launching the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone to replicate successes in New Orleans.
Prior to moving to Louisiana, White worked in New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein. While in New York he served as Deputy Chancellor, launching the Innovation Zone, a network of 100 21st Century schools that use technology to personalize student learning, and leading the city's efforts to turn around more than 100 failing schools and start 500 new charter and district schools.
White previously served as Executive Director of Teach For America – Chicago and Teach For America – New Jersey. He began his career as an English teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.
White received a B.A. in English with distinction from the University of Virginia and a Master's in Public Administration from New York University. He serves as chairman of the independent non-profit advocacy organization Chiefs for Change.