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John White Speaks at a San Francisco TFA Board Meeting… for the Benefit of Louisiana

February 23, 2019

According to a Louisiana ethics filing dated January 16, 2019, Louisiana state superintendent John White spoke in San Francisco, California, at a Teach for America (TFA) board meeting on January 09, 2019, and was comped by TFA for his lodging ($1,186.75) and transportation ($605.33).

The particular ethics form for the filing above has undergone a revision as of August 2018; the form it replaced used to require the signature and seal of a notary. That is no longer true.

Now, it’s only White certifying himself.

As his own agency head, White now approves his own attendance and certifies that his speaking at a TFA board meeting “is of direct benefit to the agency” (the “agency” being the Louisiana Department of Education).

Next, as the public servant for the agency, White was also able to attest that his own agency-head declaration was “true to the best of his (“public servant,” not “agency head”) knowledge” by signing as the public servant for the agency of which he is the agency head.

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Of course, one might rightly wonder how, exactly, John White’s speaking at a TFA board meeting in San Francisco is of benefit to the Louisiana Department of Education.

My ready guess is that the reverse is true– that it is LDOE benefiting TFA through offering TFA contracts with LDOE and through employing TFA alumni at LDOE.

White is a TFA alum whose has never stopped championing TFA, the single org that has enabled him (albeit in White’s characteristically shady fashion) to creatively fashion five years of classroom “teaching” experience out of his time as a TFA executive director in Chicago and New Jersey.

Moreover, it should come as no surprise that in years past, White has helped advance the TFA cause in Louisiana via contracts with the state-run Recovery School District. He has also employed former TFAers at LDOE in jobs for which they lack practical experience (e.g., Molly Horstman as “COMPASS director”).

I’ve placed a couple of public records requests and hope to have more soon on this front.

Until then, enjoy this 10-minute video of White the TFA Innovator as he speaks about “joining ranks with the morally righteous” (no kidding) at TFA’s 25th anniversary summit in February 2016:

John White: Louisiana State Superintendent of Education from Teach For All on Vimeo.

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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From → Ethics, John White, LDOE, TFA

3 Comments
  1. Several years ago I filed an official Ethics Complaint against White regarding several issues one of which was his paid attendance at a Chicago TFA Board Meeting. He was actually investigated and engaged an attorney. Ethics did not act on the complaint because he said that “LDOE actually paid the expenses and TFA made a donation in that amount to LDOE.” Hard to believe that Ethics actually accepted that. I believe I have the records if you are interested. Of course Ethics would also have them.

  2. Lance Hill permalink

    I think he meant the “morally impaired.”

    John White won’t be happy until he creates a whole generation of Louisianians who graduated from high school who are functionally illiterate: That way they can’t read about what he says.

    Thanks for preserving the video evidence for them.

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  1. Louisiana’s Teach for America Contracts: Not As Lucrative as They Used to Be, But Still There. | deutsch29

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