White to resign as state superintendent

Published 3:18 am Saturday, January 11, 2020

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On Wednesday, John White announced that he will step down from his role as Louisiana’s State Superintendent of Education, a position he has held since 2012. The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will immediately begin the process of selecting a new state superintendent.

“Over the last eight years, Louisiana has made great strides under Superintendent White’s leadership in carrying out the vision of the board,” said Dr. Holly Boffy, BESE vice president. “The development and implementation of Louisiana’s ESSA Plan has been a vibrant collaborative experience that inspires great teaching and encourages effective learning, while aiming for constant growth and development for all students. The board thanks him for his support in spearheading this critical work and for his dedicated and tireless service to the families, students, and educators of our state.”

White’s resignation will be effective March 11. In the coming days, BESE will convene a special meeting in Baton Rouge to discuss the process and timeframe for selecting his replacement. The board appoints the position of state superintendent by a two-thirds vote of its total membership.

Boffy emphasized the board’s commitment to provide stability and continuity during this time of transition in an effort to ensure that students are prepared for the 21st century, as well as to build upon the positive momentum and progress of our students and schools.

“Louisiana’s plan to prepare all students for success in college and careers is a strong one, and our board looks forward to continuing the considerable recent progress that has been made regarding early childhood efforts,” she said.

During White’s tenure, Louisiana’s high school graduation rate has climbed 9.1 percent to an all-time high of 81.4 percent, compared to the national growth of 4.6 percentage points during the same period. Students’ college and career credential attainment and TOPS eligibility also currently stand at record highs. The number of students earning Advanced Placement college credits has increased by 167 percent, and the number of students earning a college-going ACT score of at least 18 has increased by 7,397 since 2012, among the most improved in the nation.

The date of the BESE special meeting to discuss filling the state superintendent position will be announced within the week.