All Bad Ed Reform Starts in Chicago

Providing a few notes on Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White turned into one of those cases of uncovering a whole lot. I leave it to the reader to decide just how this pile of connections should be labeled.

John White (left) and Paul G. Vallas (right) both began their careers as union busters and teacher bashing privatization hacks in Chicago's public schools. Since then, they have gone on to serve the plutocracy in a variety of ways. White is currently chief of the New Orleans "Recovery School District" while Vallas's consulting business is getting international work thanks to the sponsors he has collected despite his dubious record and bogus credentials.John White was appointed Louisiana Superintendent of Education January 11, 2012. Moving back from that, we see that in May 2011 White became head of New Orleans Recovery School District. Here's what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said of this appointment, "John is a visionary leader who has done great things in New York City and New Orleans, and I’m confident he'll do the same for the whole state of Louisiana."

White came to New Orleans from New York City, where, in 2006, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein had invited him to become New York City Deputy Chancellor of Talent, Labor and Innovation (where he "oversaw implementation of much of New York's Race to the Top plan, including overhauling the city's teacher effectiveness systems") then in Where was John White before 2006? Confirming Substance publisher George Schmidt's contention that from Mastery Learning to Arne Duncan, all bad school reform starts in Chicago, John White served as Executive Director for Teach For America (TFA) Chicago for three years. This is from his official bio:

Under White’s leadership, TFA-Chicago doubled the number of teachers recruited to work in South Side and West Side schools, and the organization established one of the most innovative principal training programs in the country, matching successful TFA teachers with Harvard University and the Chicago Public School System for training as principals. White also spent two years with TFA in New Jersey, coaching and mentoring new recruits. And he served as a lead developer for TFA’s national Strategy Committee.

If that isn't enough, White was a 2010 member of the Broad Superintendents Academy.

White has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University.

TWITTER Reveals Connections

White's Twitter tag reads: John White @LouisianaSupe

Every one of Louisiana's children should be on track to a college degree or a professional career.

Here are a few Tweets and ReTweets:

**School boards are adjusting layoff policies to keep strong teachers in the classroom. Seeing changed policies roll in daily. Great to see. [code for abolishing tenure]

**creating unit assessments accessible to all students and aligning instruction to practice to assessment. [all instruction becomes test prep]

**Getting good feedback on the academic strategy memo on #commoncore, Compass, accountability, and curric. See Ed Connect ** #FF New Orleans charters getting it done for kids @KIPPNO @NewBeginningsNO @LyceeFrancaisLA @NOMMA_LA @collegiateacad Common Core is the WHAT while Danielson Components will help teachers improve the HOW! **This document is a great guide to #Louisiana public school accountability 2012-2013 and beyond. … [one gets an error message when trying to access this Stand for Children page.]

The outfits and personages John White follows on Twitter range from his first choice Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to his most recent, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks. In-between we find such non-surprises (in order of selection) as NBC's Education Nation, the U. S. Department of Education, U. S. News and World Report, Arne Duncan, Education Sector, Stand for Children, 50Can, Teach for America,Students First, Education Week, American Enterprise Institute,Randi Weingarten, Mike Bloomberg, Kevin Huffman, Excellence in Education, Jeb Bush, Duke Basketball, the New York Yankees, and so on and so on.

If you want to get deep into this, you can check out who follows White. Tom Vander Ark was early follower, as was a VP at FiftyCan, a program officer at the Gates Foundation, Kipp Foundation, Green Dot founder Steve Barr, the Vermont Department of Education (!), and so on and so on. I didn't go very far with this. One can become buried in one's obsessions.

John White is a member of Chiefs for Change. Check out his companion chiefs. And don't miss the Meet the Donors page. Bill Gates is everywhere. Interesting here is who's missing: Pearson.

Here is Superintendent White's back to school letter in praise of Common Core , which, he says, "combined with a proliferation of digital education resources, is creating a national market of innovative, high quality content that can be readily accessed by teachers and students through technology. In a few years, educators will have more choices in content than ever before. . . ." All lined up to the Common Core assessments.

White's letter calls on All Education Entrepreneurs, directing them to Louisiana Course Choice, which makes public education a free-for-all.

The Beauregard Daily News published this account of White's address to the Beauregard school Board, where he explains the Common Core and joins the advocates of universal pre-school--so that kids will enter school ready for those Common Cores State (sic) Standards.

State Superintendent of Education speaks to BPSB

by Erica Fay

DeRidder, La.--Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, John White, presented the Beauregard Parish School Board with explanations of many of the newly implemented educational reforms Thursday evening.

"Out of 100 students who enter high school as freshmen, 71 will graduate in four years, 49 will enter college within one year, and fewer than 19 will gain a degree within 6 years." said White.

To improve numbers of graduates, and improve students' test scores, the State Department of Education and the Legislature have been making changes.

These changes include the adoption of the new state mandates for education with Common Core State Standards and Compass, giving the parish school systems the flexibility on what to teach instead of requiring them to comply, and giving parents a choice for their children and their pathways to college or a career of their choice.

In order to make these changes, Louisiana children should be enrolled in some form of academic pre-kindergarten classes.

Taking advantage of the new Common Core State Standards and Compass will allow students in Louisiana the chance to reach higher levels.

White said, "I believe Louisiana could eventually be compared to Massachusetts, Oklahoma and many other states that have some of the highest ranking test scores. . . .

You can read the rest of this article here


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