Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at an education event in Houston Friday night.
The mayor championed his efforts to get rid of what he calls "high-stakes testing" in the city.
He also criticized politicians for having close relationships with charter schools and said the next secretary of education should have experience working as an educator.
"Instead of focusing on teaching and learning and supporting our educators with professional develpment, this country created a system of high-stakes testing that took us in the wrong direction," de Blasio said. "Look, here's what I say: the federal government should be focused on funding our schools at the local level because our current system is not working."
De Blasio is spending his Saturday in New Orleans, and is expected to wrap up his weekend in South Carolina.