U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has inserted himself into Louisiana’s debate over who should replace Paul Pastorek as state schools superintendent.
At least two members of the state board of elementary and secondary education said they received calls from Mr. Duncan about John White, the newly hired leader of the state’s Recovery School District and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s choice to be interim state superintendent.
Board member Linda Johnson said the secretary praised Mr. White’s background and experience, but stopped short of asking her to vote for him to be superintendent.
A spokesman for Gov. Jindal, a Republican, said the Jindal administration had asked Mr. Duncan to call board members. U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton said Mr. Duncan thinks that John White is an extraordinary leader and is committed to reform and is a great asset to the state.
A version of this article appeared in the May 25, 2011 edition of Education Week as Duncan Calls Board Members About Choice for La. Chief