John White, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s pick to oversee public education in Louisiana, has been approved as state superintendent by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. White has been serving as superintendent of the Recovery School District since May and was previously chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

The holder of bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in public administration, White has no background as an educator and was opposed for the post by most teacher unions in the state. He has had the backing of Jindal since soon after former Superintendent Paul Pastorek abruptly resigned last year but didn’t have the votes on BESE to install White as superintendent until the new board, several members of which were “reform” candidates endorsed by Jindal last fall, was installed this month. Earlier this week, evidently sensing that White’s appointment was imminent, the Louisiana Association of Educators insisted in a press release that the search for a new superintendent be conducted  transparently and statewide.

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