As a high school teacher in Louisiana, Mercedes Schneider has followed John White’s meteoric career with interest. He started in education as part of Teach for America, then gained a leadership role in TFA. Vaulted up the ladder of success working for Joel Klein’s administration in New York City. Quickly was named Superintendent of Schools in all-charter New Orleans. And in a flash, he was State Superintendent of Education in Louisiana. He insisted he was a “teacher at heart.” But Mercedes now finds that he is selling Common-Core aligned Eureka Math.

She writes:

White is an education opportunist at heart. Prior to his exit as Louisiana state superintendent, White started a nonprofit, Propel America, with fellow TFA alum Paymon Rouhanifard, and while still Louisiana superintendent, contracted with two Louisiana districts to pilot his product and apparently blindsiding then-state board president, Gary Jones, with the decision...

The 2018-19 school year was White’s last full school year as state superintendent. On January 08, 2020, White announced his resignation effective March 11, 2020.

Even as he touted his accomplishments, White, who was leaving mid-school-year, included no mention of a subsequent professional destination.

According to his LinkedIn bio, the Waltons picked up the tab for him, providing income for his as a Walton Family Foundation “fellow” from April 2020 to the present (July 2022).

Of course, White also had his own consulting firm, Watershed Advisors, which provides a place for a number of his former-La.-Dept.-of-Ed. cronies to land (or at least to provide indispensable resume decor to make the floundering professional seem busy climbing some ladder).

White also mentions being a member of the education advisory council to flagship in incompetence at a price, consulting firm, Alvarez and Marsal. Lots of background here. Alvarez and Marsal have their controversial fingerprints on Louisiana, New York, St. Louis, Montana, Rhode Island, and DC….

In DC, Alvarez and Marsal was hired to investigate cheating under then-chancellor (and former TFAer) Michelle Rhee, the March 08, 2012, Washington Post observes, “It is not known how much experience Alvarez and Marsal has in test security.” None. But that is how education opportunism works– just get the contract, charge the fees, offer something (or nothing, or chaos), then leave.

Education opportunism. And the findest of education opportunists, John White, is on this opportunistic business’ education advisory counsel. Perfect resume dressing.

Ahh, but “teacher at heart” White has found his place, in curriculum sales for Common-Core-associated Great Minds.