VAIL — Continuing to bring hard-hitting topics on controversial and important matters, the Vail Symposium will host John White Monday to discuss education reform in America. White is the current superintendent of education for Louisiana and visits Vail with a lengthy record of vast education overhauls in Louisiana and New York.
In Louisiana, White is currently charged with improving education and education performance ratings for 700,000 students and 50,000 teachers. He originally arrived in Louisiana to head up the “Recovery School District” where he overhauled 22 failing schools and introduced 64 charter schools. He was named superintendent by Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2012.
Prior to his work in Louisiana, White held the position of deputy chancellor of talent, labor and innovation in New York. He was asked by New York City Chancellor Joel Klein to help lead the largest school district in the country, and White went to work introducing citywide teacher effectiveness systems and launching the “Innovation Zone” — 100 21st century schools that use technology to personalize student learning.
He comes to the Vail Symposium with the help of Slifer Smith and Frampton and the Youth Foundation acting as partial presenting sponsors. As a part of the Symposium’s Hot Topics series, many in the community are already registered, including Eagle County Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass.
“Reforms at the leading edge of efforts to improve American’s schools include increased school choice through more charter schools and private school vouchers, getting better teachers through evaluation systems using student test scores and programs like Teach for America, and raising standards for students through adoption of the Common Core State Standards and matching assessments,” Glass said. “As these policies roll across the country, it is important that we critically evaluate them and determine if they will actually achieve their intended goals and if this is indeed the future we want for America’s schools. Louisiana State Superintendent John White, as a leading advocate for these reforms, allows us a wonderful opportunity to listen to and evaluate these ideas.”
White will discuss his experiences in New York and Louisiana, and explain how the reforms he has implemented in the respective school systems fit the larger education issues that America currently faces. He will also discuss Common Core Standards, a subject that has recently tagged his name as a driving force behind them.
“Education reform is a topic that the Vail Symposium has discussed in the past and will likely continue to discuss in the future,” said Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s executive director. “Teachers, students, parents and all interested in this important subject are welcome to attend and learn from one of the most renowned names in education reform in America.”