John White in Library

Meet John White

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 a college degree or a professional career. In the time since, White has worked to unify the state’s fragmented early childhood system, to modernize curriculum, to professionalize the preparation of educators, to provide pathways to prosperity for all high school graduates, and to provide families with expansive school options irrespective of their financial means.

Louisiana Believes includes nationally recognized initiatives such as Early Childhood Networks, Louisiana Teacher Leaders, ELA Curriculum Guidebooks, the Believe and Prepare Teacher Residency, and Jump Start career education. Superintendent White and his team have also led the post-Katrina renovation and unification of schools in New Orleans and the creation of the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone.

More Louisiana students graduated from high school in 2018 than in any year in the state’s history, with a state graduation rate of 81.4 percent. Nearly 26,000 high school seniors in the class of 2017 earned a college-going ACT score (18+), an increase of 7,397 students over the class of 2012. Since 2012, the number of students earning Advanced Placement credit each year has increased by more than 3,700, an increase of 137 percent. And Louisiana made greater improvement than any state in the nation in the 2017-2018 school year in the percentage of its graduates completing financial aid forms to continue their education after high school.

Prior to being named State Superintendent, White served as Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District. He previously worked under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein as Deputy Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education and 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’s writings on education have been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalEducation Next, the Daily Beast, The Hill, and the Brookings Institution’s Evidence Speaks.

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 and is an Academic Visitor to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.