On January 11, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) selected John White as Louisiana’s new State Superintendent of Education. The appointment was made during a special called meeting in Baton Rouge. White’s term as the state education chief becomes effective immediately.
Governor Bobby Jindal said, “John’s done a great job for the Recovery School District and he’s going to do a great job as Superintendent of Education. Improving our educational system will require bold leadership and innovative ideas, such as empowering parents with more choices, rewarding highly effective teachers, and giving our schools the flexibility to pursue the most effective reforms for students in their communities. John is just the type of passionate, competent, and committed educator we need as Superintendent to build on our record of reform. Our kids only grow up once, and we cannot wait for the system to reform itself. I applaud BESE for recognizing John’s leadership and entrusting him with the responsibility to prepare our students for success in our schools and the workforce.”
Jindal’s endorsement of White was reiterated by other state and national leaders.
“I want to salute the Louisiana Board of Education for appointing John White as the state’s new superintendent,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “John is a visionary leader who has done great things in New York City and New Orleans, and I’m confident he’ll do the same for the whole state of Louisiana.”
“John White has developed a reputation as a proven leader in reforming education and increasing student achievement,” said U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. “He has led successful education reform efforts in some of the country’s most challenging school systems – most recently, as head of the Recovery School District. John’s knowledge, talents, and commitment to serving the best interests of children make him a perfect fit for Louisiana as we seek to advance education in our state.”
“Considering the high expectations we’ve set for our students, Superintendent White is the clear choice,” BESE President Penny Dastugue said. “Specifically, when we look at the strategies we’re pursuing – supporting the success of teachers and principals and turning around failing schools- John’s demonstrated ability to advance similar initiatives in New York City and elsewhere makes him uniquely qualified. Likewise, as head of the Recovery School District, John has earned a reputation as an honest and straightforward leader, who is genuinely committed to listening, works to resolve contentious issues, keeps his promises, and makes sure we’re taking care of our business. Those qualities are of immeasurable value for our State Superintendent.”