Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has faced criticism from his state’s teacher group and education leaders for sitting as president of Hillsdale College – advising him on education policy – referring to teachers as “trained in the most stupid part of Bobatum College.”
Lee is among the Republican governors who have turned to Hillsdale and its president, Larry Arn, for advice on education policy. As an institution that describes itself as a small, Christian, classical liberal arts college that avoids federal funding and “social justice”, Hillsdale has built a national network of charter schools and has become influential with conservative politicians such as Florida Governor Ron Descentis.
In Tennessee, Lee plans for Hillsdale to help expand the role of charter schools, which has led civil liberties groups in the state to question Arch’s controversial past statements about the Michigan institution’s strong religious affiliation and other critics’ races.
Against that background, a local television station edited video footage of a private event published last week where Arn, Lee sits and listens quietly to his right, describing teachers as “trained in the dumbest part of the most dumb colleges in the country.” “(Teacher education activities have been criticized for having lower academic standards than many other programs in their institution.”
Elsewhere during his lecture, Arn said teachers are “taught that they are going to do something Per Do those kids ever talk about anything other than what they’re going to do? Per These kids? “
Arn added that colleges are hiring a significant number of diversity officers who were trained by schools of the same education. Why? “It’s easy. You don’t have to know anything.”
In the video, Arn is seen making this comment: “And the administrators you hire are all diverse people, and it helps you, you have a certain number of colors according to your federal requirements.” There is no federal requirement or quota mandatory that colleges hire a certain number of administrators from the under-represented groups.
Response from Tennessee
Criticism from state teacher education groups and college leaders was quick and furious.
The Tennessee Association of College of Teacher Education, which represents the teacher preparation program across Tennessee, said in a letter to Leake that Arne’s remarks “insulted Tennesseans dedicated to teaching and learning, as well as thousands of students across the state joining the program to become professional educators.” “It is not in the best interests of Tennessee’s children, economy or reputation, to underestimate and insult these educators.” It called on Leakey “to speak now in defense of teachers and professional educators”.
The Tennessee Independent College and University Association has issued a statement calling its president Claude Presnell Arn’s remarks “anonymous and deeply offensive.”
In a statement, Lee’s office said, “Governor Lee has been outspoken in increasing the salaries of public school teachers in Tennessee each year during his tenure ীব the workforce to support our students and build careers.”