“Obviously we have a lot of work cut out for us,” said Liu, who is also a Democratic candidate for mayor.
One local resident, who works for the Department of Education, asked Liu how he would keep good teachers in public schools and ensure that education money is spent efficiently if elected mayor.
“When it comes to teaching our kids, the most important people in the school system are the ones that actually come in contact with our kids on a daily basis,” Liu said. “We have to treat them like professionals, that’s not what this chancellor has done.”
Liu said education the city's children is being treated more like a business than a school system.
“It's all about behaving like assembly line workers,” he said.
Liu said instructors are teaching students to pass one test a year, and that he would push for more quizzes and tests.
“Artificially, test scores go up even though the educational quality and the educational achievement is not actually improving,” he said. “So I think the overemphasis on these state exams has resulted in smoke and mirrors.”
Resident Karen Wellington said the Department of Education needs to focus on hiring more people. “We have to hire some more librarians,” she said. “We can’t just be a row of computers.”