Thursday, April 07, 2011

STOP THE PRESSES! NYC Deputy Chancellor John White has been chosen as the new superintendent in New Orleans

STOP THE PRESSES!  NYC Deputy Chancellor John White has been chosen as the new superintendent in New Orleans – yet another superstar TFA and Joel Klein alum rising to the top spot in a major city. Here's his short bio:


Prior to joining the Department, White served as executive director for Teach For America Chicago and Teach For America New Jersey, serving on the organization's national Strategy Committee.   He was also a Teach for America corps member (Newark, '99).  He holds a bachelor's degree in English with distinction from the University of Virginia.  White is a member of the 2010 class of The Broad Superintendents Academy.


There are INCREDIBLY exciting reforms happening in New Orleans, thanks to, among others, Hurricane Katrina (the best thing that ever happened to NO schools, which were among the worst in America), Paul Vallas (the current super, who deserves HUGE kudos), and the many great organizations like KIPP, TFA and New Leaders who've made major commitments to NO.  I'm sure John will be looking for talented people, so be sure to email John at if you or someone you know is interested in coming to NO.


Here's with the story:

Top DOE official John White to head New Orleans school district

New Orleans has picked John White, a top official in New York City's education department, as its next superintendent, the Times-Picayune is reporting.

The report sends another blow to New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, whose leadership team has been hemorrhaging members. But it also signals that cities continue to be eager to hire administrators who cut their teeth under her predecessor, former schools chancellor Joel Klein.

White would replace Paul Vallas, who is leaving the charter-school-rich Recovery School District at the end of the school year. The Times-Picayune reports that the decision could be finalized at a meeting of the state board of education on Friday.

The Recovery School District referred a request for comment to Louisiana's state board of education, which did not immediately have a statement. White did not return a request for comment.

Currently the city's deputy chancellor for talent, labor, and innovation, White began his career in education as a teacher with Teach for America, then ran the organization's Chicago office. In New York, he has risen from an aide inside the office that creates new schools and shuts down failing ones to a leading official overseeing the city's ambitious Innovation Zone project.

In these roles, he won respect among some who describe him as a leading thinker on how to transform a school district with the so-called "portfolio" approach. The term refers to the policy of offering several different school options to families — and closing down the options that are judged to be beyond repair.

Community members who opposed that approach, meanwhile, resented White. The Manhattan borough president, Scott Stringer, once said White had "the worst job — ever."

White would be the second of Black's top deputies to depart this week. Santiago Taveras, the deputy chancellor for community engagement, announced his departure on Monday.

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