Iowa’s Congressional delegation is speaking out against the U.S. Department of Education for placing Iowa on a list of states that have failed to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he’s not happy. Harkin says it’s a “slap in the face” to Iowa, as he says the state has worked hard to comply. He says, “If the Department of Education had concerns, they should have made these concerns known in the past. They’ve had numerous visits, but nothing was made known.”
The Education Department has an issue with the assessment plan Iowa wants to use for elementary teachers. Harkin, a Democrat, says the action contradicts the Education Department’s praise of Iowa’s efforts to comply with No Child Left Behind.
Harkin says Iowa has a long tradition of producing “competent caring and effective teachers” and he says he hopes the Department will be more forthright in the future. Harkin says, It’s not the failure of Iowa, it’s the failure of No Child Left Behind.”
On another topic, Harkin disagrees with President Bush’s actions on Iraq. Harkin says the message the president put out in Baghdad “is totally the wrong message.” Harkin says by telling the Iraqis U.S. troops will be there are long as needed, Harkin says that helps the insurgents recruit.
Harkin says the U.S. needs to send the message that it wants the Iraqis to take over for themselves. Harkin says the U.S. needs to tell the Iraqi government they need to start agreeing amongst themselves, “You got your government, you’ve got your constitution, you’ve got your police now, and your military and we’re outta hear. And we’re going to start getting out by the end of this year, and you’d better start making the necessary compromises and agreements that (the country) needs to run your government.”
Harkin says keeping U.S. troops in Iraq will only help the insurgency get stronger.