JC Bowman Weighs in on Comments Made by Governor Bill Lee’s New Education Advisor Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO JC Bowman in studio to comment upon the recent statements made by Hilldale College’s Larry Arnn at an event with Governor Bill Lee regarding education.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our very good friend, JC Bowman, the president of Professional Educators of Tennessee. You know, JC, the mark of a true friend is this when you call them at 9:30 at night and say, can you come in studio tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. and they say, yes. Thank you, JC.

Bowman: Well, always for you, I’m always going to come in. We go way back. And I think the interesting thing is this. I know you’re always going to be straight, and I just always appreciate the opportunity to be here. And I love what you guys are doing at The Tennessee Star and frankly, your national outreach.

Leahy: We are, yeah, we are hitting the stories that the mainstream media just won’t cover. This is funny. It’s amusing to me. And I heard this story and I said, what? So just to lay it out for everybody now, everybody’s shocked.

Now, we’ve been critical of Governor Lee on a number of issues, but we’ve also praised him on some issues where he’s done well on going after the trigger law and getting the injunction to have the trigger law in effect right after Roe v. Wade.

He succeeded, we were surprised, but he did succeed in getting the voucher program, if you will, in a couple of counties. It was a success at the Supreme Court, but there’s kind of a political misstep that he’s made here with his education advisor.

Can you kind of lay the story out? Who’s his education advisor? What did the adviser say? And did Governor Lee step in to correct that?

Bowman: No, he did not.

Leahy: And so what happened?

Bowman: A couple of things. Number one, and I’m going to say this last Monday, not two weeks ago, on Monday, they had some reception at Hillsdale College.

And apparently, by the way, there is a lot, everybody seems to think Hillsdale is the new Greece or Harvard of Michigan or the conservative world or whatever.

Leahy: A conservative educational icon.

Bowman: And a couple of things. Let’s go to number one. There are 1,500 students there. This isn’t about Hillsdale, it really isn’t.

And again, this isn’t even about charter schools. This guy and I had a lot of respect for Larry Arnn up until this point. He’s the president of Hillsdale College.

Leahy: He said something in the governor’s presence that would be impolitic.

Bowman: He rambled for an hour on a speech and what you saw and here’s the thing. Somebody gave me a couple of quotes.

Leahy: Let’s start off with the very first one where he said something complimentary about our governor. That seems to be a little bit of an overreach.

Bowman: Yeah, he referred to him as a potential president, a future president.

Leahy: Oh my goodness.

Bowman: President Bill.

Leahy: That’s what he said? And that’s what he said. Okay, right there you have to say, where is this guy going? Well, here’s the whole thing. I think it’s pretty clear that Governor Lee is angling for a national position.

Leahy: I think either I think he is, too, and

Bowman: I think he either views himself as the vice presidential nominee under a Donald Trump presidency if Donald Trump runs again, or he may run for president.

And I think there’s people, and I think it’s delusional. I’m going to be real honest with you. I’m not real impressed with how he’s governed our state.

Leahy: No, I think a lot of people have and we’ve been critical on a number of issues, but tell us exactly after Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale, and we like Hillsdale, and we have liked Larry Arnn, we’ve been a guest on this show, but he said something that I don’t know, if you’re trying to get charter schools promoted in Tennessee, it’s impolitic at best. Tell us exactly what he said.

Bowman: It’s reprehensible and irresponsible. First off, he said, zero confidence. Basically. He said, in colleges of education, they are the dumbest part of every college, and teachers are trained in the dumbest parts of dumbest colleges in the country.

And when it came to teachers, anybody can do it. And then finally, he equated education and he said, modern education with enslavement. And so those pieces go together.

Leahy: That’s more than a little bit over the top.

Bowman: Well, and then you have the governor, the state sitting there and then walks on stage…

Leahy: Did he correct them?

Bowman: No, the governor walks the stage and says, and this is my vision for education. And basically he endorsed it.

Leahy: Now, was the governor up in Hillsdale?

Bowman: No, this was here in Franklin. Yeah.

Leahy: What were they thinking?

Bowman: I don’t know. I wondered what they were drinking.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

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2 Thoughts to “JC Bowman Weighs in on Comments Made by Governor Bill Lee’s New Education Advisor Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Those in the teaching profession are like those working in all other occupations meaning that some perform well while others fail miserably. Fortunately, in the private sector those not performing up to par are usually terminated. That is not the case in education. In fact, some are actually promoted to administration.

  2. Cannoneer2

    Its good that this issue got some exposure, in between all of the whining about the Guard and Covid vaccinations…