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.

As a result of this work, students across Louisiana are performing at levels never seen before.

  • Louisiana fourth-grade students achieved the highest growth among all states on the 2015 NAEP reading test and the second highest growth in math.
  • The number of students scoring “Mastery” and above on LEAP tests has increased 13% in the last five years.
  • record 25,704 high school seniors in the class of 2017 earned a college-going ACT score (18+), an increase of 7,397 students since 2012.
  • More students graduated in 2016 than ever before. More than 3,500 students graduated in 2016 than in 2012, and 43% of them did so with an early college credit or a statewide industry-based credential.
  • Since 2012, the number of students earning Advanced Placement credit each year has increased by more than 3,700, an increase of 137%.
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.