Today was the last day of school here in NYC so I thought this was a good time to bring up some issues in regards to education. After teaching in one of the worst schools in New York City for one year, I've come to some conclusions about the education system: 1. Local control is better than state or federal control. A year ago I might have said that federal involvement in education could only be a good thing because it means more money. Today I would say the opposite. Keep your money. The more localized the decision-making, the better. 2. High stakes testing is just about the worst thing ever to happen to public education. 3. Qualified teachers and (especially) administrators are in woefully short supply. The highest priority for high-needs schools is staffing. Failing schools need serious incentives to attract and keep highly qualified faculty. I suppose there are a hundred other things I could say but I'm too drunk to really think about it right now. I just wanted to get the conversation started. Oh, the thread title refers to the fact that three of my students failed the citywide English Language Arts Assessment, which for my school is pretty ********ing spectacular. Yet that statistic is so meaningless, it's actually ridiculous. My class learned nothing this year, and any assessment which says otherwise is clearly flawed.