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 college or a professional career. In the time since, White has worked to unify the state’s fragmented early childhood system, to modernize expectations and curriculum for all students, 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.

In 2015, Louisiana 4th grade students made greater gains on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in reading than those made by any other state. In mathematics, Louisiana 4th graders made the second-highest gains among states.

Since 2012, Louisiana’s high school graduation rate has risen by 5.2 percentage points. More than 6,300 more graduates from the class of 2016 achieved a college-going ACT score than in the class of 2012, and over the last three years, Louisiana is the most improved state on the ACT among states using the ACT as their high school test. Louisiana now ranks third in the South among such states for composite ACT average score.

In 2015, Louisiana was also the nation’s second fastest-improving state on Advanced Placement (AP) tests. The number of Louisiana students earning AP scores qualifying students for college credit has increased by 116 percent since 2012. And the number of Louisiana graduates annually entering college has grown by more than 2,400 over that period, a 12 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.

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