Closing In On John White

Lee Barrios, former St. Tammany Parish classroom teacher, current public education advocate.

Lee Barrios, of Abita Springs, has been part of a public education posse that has been watching John White’s work as Louisiana Superintendent of Education. They have found it wanting.

Working with Mercedes Schneider, Ganey Arsement, Mike Deshotels and other volunteer advocates, Barrios and her allies have exposed the manipulation behind the data White has been using to try to validate his narratives about the failure of Louisiana’s public schools and the success of the state’s charter experiment. Both narratives are false.

Now, with a lawsuit likely to be heard this summer which would force the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to have a up or down vote on the matter of renewing White’s lucrative contract, the end of his Louisiana stay appears to be drawing near. In this podcast, Barrios says she believes White will leave Louisiana before the suit gets heard in order to avoid what could be a prolonged and embarrassing legal fight that could hurt his job prospects elsewhere.

John White has worked without a contract as Louisiana Superintendent of Education since January 2016. A lawsuit seeks to force a BESE vote which could result in the job being declared vacant.

It could be a very interesting summer for public education in Louisiana as John White must decide if he will fight to keep his job or look for greener grass elsewhere. One possible landing spot is the U.S. Department of Education where a public education privatizer, Betsy DeVos, has been named secretary. Another is the Los Angeles, CA, where a pro-privatization majority recently won control of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Here’s the conversation with Lee Barrios.