State Senator David Hartsuch, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s first congressional district, says the federal “No Child Left Behind” Law isn’t working. “I believe that ‘No Child Left Behind’ has universal disfavor with the public,” Hartsuch says.

“Both Republicans and Democrats, if you look at the grassroots, really do not like ‘No Child Left Behind.’ The concept was a very top-down approach where we have centralized testing and we’re doing resource allocation decisions based on this testing.”

Hartsuch, who is from Bettendorf, has asked Iowa’s attorney general to review the law and its impact on Iowa school districts. “I believe in Davenport, as an example, we have excellent teachers, administrators, curriculum, we have good facilities, but I believe we have 240 homeless kids in Daveport and to say that that does not negatively impact education would be a real stretch,” Hartsuch says.

 “It does negatively impact educational attatinment and I do believe that those disadvantaged communities are having their resources stripped from them unnecessarily because of ‘No Child Left Behind.'”

Hartsuch says the law should be reformed or repealed, something President Bush, a fellow Republican, has resisted as Bush pushed for the law which is modeled after testing requirements in place in Texas when he was governor there.

Hartsuch says Democrats like Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo, his opponent in November, should have challenged Bush on this issue. “The Democrats have put up a lot more legislation that Bush would veto. They could take the leadership and put this up and let Bush veto the program, but the truth of the matter is the Democrats in power like this just as much as Bush did because it was put forward in a bipartisan way,” Hartsuch says. “The problem is we’ve had the Washington insiders put this program together with an elitist point of view without consideration of what it means for the teachers on the ground.”

A spokesman for Congressman Braley was not immediately available for comment. During his first campaign for congress in 2006, Braley criticized the “No Child Left Behind” Law.