Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents Condemns Controversial Remarks From Hillsdale College President

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) condemned recent remarks by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn at a Williamson County event.

According to audio captured by NewsChannel 5, Arnn said that “The teachers are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.”

The comments have led to intense backlash against Arnn and Governor Bill Lee, who attended the event.

“Unfortunately for Mr. Arnn, a public school critic, a public school education also confers the ability to listen, analyze, discern, and comprehend. It is clear that the motive for Mr. Arnn’s criticism of public schools and public school teachers is driven by his desire to expand his charter school empire into Tennessee. And from all indications, he has the assistance he seeks in this endeavor. The value of public education and public school teachers cannot be adequately stated in any single writing,” the group of education officials in the state said in an emailed release.

According to the press release, the group met and approved the condemnation unanimously.

“Rather, the value of public schools and public school teachers is demonstrated in the daily lives of Tennesseans who worship, work, give of their time and resources, assist their neighbors, and vote. The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents gives its profound thanks to all of those in public education who strive daily to make this state a better place to live for all of its residents.

In the fallout of the event, Ivy Academy’s Skillern Elementary in Hamilton County ended their partnership with Hillsdale College, which provided curriculum support to the teachers and students.

Previously, Governor Lee detailed a plan to expand the number of Hillsdale-connected charter schools across the state.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Larry Arnn” by Hillsdale College. Background Photo “Hillsdale College” by Hillsdale College.

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21 Thoughts to “Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents Condemns Controversial Remarks From Hillsdale College President”

  1. Concerned

    “… a public school education also confers the ability to listen, analyze, discern, and comprehend.” Oh, really! Since they no longer teach critical thinking skills, they are not able to analyze and discern. What they do produce are children who listen to and follow the dogma, the propaganda that they have been fed in the classroom and trust those sources that they have been taught to trust; in other words, MSM and propagandists.

    Michael Patrick Leahy can disagree with the words Dr. Arnn chose to use, or to call them inflammatory, but he can’t disagree with the truth Dr. Arnn was pointing out regarding public education itself. TN is ranked 30 to 35 (depending on which list you look at) when compared to other states. I think Dr. Arnn knows what he is talking about and TN educators need to accept criticism and work to improve the quality of education and cut out the indoctrination and woke agenda of upper management. Sometimes a broad-brush approach is more effective in getting the entire industry to see that they have systemic problems.

  2. william delzell

    Good for the school superintendents! Now, let’s go after Governor Lee for failing to chastise Arnn for his caustic and un-called-for remarks.

  3. Sim

    It appears “TOSS” doesn’t recognize, or at least “admit”, to the “Dumbing down” of students that people have been warned about since back in the sixties, early seventies.

    Of course you will never get a Liberal, Democrats or progressive to admit that their ideas are some of the dumbest ever conceived.

    But rather that stand up together against this “EVIL” most people would rather bail out of the system for a private school and let the rest go to hell,

    Of course their kids they are trying to education will have to live is the hell with all the others.

    So who really is to blame,??????

  4. Ron Derringer

    Almost by definition, it is the private as well as religious sponsored schools that are indoctrinating our children. Public schools have inspired the best students to become teachers themselves, not for the money but for the love of the kids and of knowledge.

    1. 83ragtop50

      I want some of what you are smoking!

  5. Tom Richardson

    Has the whole state of Tennessee “cut ties” or just the Hamilton County’s Ivy Academy, which is all that I’ve heard? Arnn is spot on with his statement and the TOSS reaction, while not surprising, is doing nothing more than attack a Truth Bearer with absolute falsehood. Perfect Alinsky strategy. Proof? The spread of Marxism throughout our entire society largely as a result of the cancer of Marxism spreading throughout the public education system for 50+ years….

  6. Dwayne Oxford

    TOSS NEEDS tossed. They prob support NEA/TEA too.

  7. Judi Myrick

    I’m saddened to learn that TN cut ties with Hillsdale. Disgusting that Gov. Lee would stop the program before it actually could benefit the children.

    Hillsdale is all about children learning. The teachers’ union is about teaching their leftist ideas.

    Home school is the only choice!

  8. John Neal

    I don’t know a thing about Hillsdale. I do know that over the thirty plus years my four children went to school the quality of education crashed and burned. Common core? Give me a break. Who thought up this garbage? And when I begged for help with my number four child, who is very bright and suffering from ADHD they simply ignored him. When I asked them to hold him back so he could learn the skills he needed they literally said “We don’t do that any more.” The truth is that teaching used to be a honorable profession where the smartest women worked. Now those very smart women can be CEOs and quality teaching has been abandoned. We have to triple teaching salaries so we can get smart people who care about children back in the profession and then we need to let them teach instead of making them abide by stupid rules.

  9. Evelyn Mashburn

    I am saddened to hear that TN has made a decision to “cut the cord” with Hillsdale. It is indeed an excellent program which I have supported for years due to this excellency. They do much more to support academic excellency than mets the eye. They also extend their learning materials to those of us who are of senior age and love learning at home without having to enroll in a college. They have and are a benefit to aged seniors who are suffering from memory problems. Hillsdale has helped me to help my great-grandchildren before school age and now a grandchild who is going into the 6th grade who is in the top 4% of students state wide. I say to Gov. Bill Lee and others you are making a huge mistake. Do not take offense, learn from others. Make all our students great with help of Hillsdale. I am so thankful for all the help and information they have shared with me and that I passed it on to my straight A student!!

  10. Lashawn

    Public schools are a disaster. The education is limited but the indoctrination is plentiful. If our students are graduating with limited knowledge – if they do graduate – who do they spend their school day with? Teachers! The fact that Governor Lee was there does not mean he agreed with everything that was said nor is the Governor responsible for what teachers do or do not do. All we have to do is look around at what is happening in our public schools and it becomes clear that teachers are not teaching much of anything. Sounds like a bunch of woke people were there, however.

  11. HelenC

    Dumbest schools in my experience in TN r Montessori schools. They’re overpriced tuition is lacking in basic skills children need, especially math.

  12. DG

    Except that he was completely correct. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  13. Darlene Morris

    Unfortunately, the Hillsdale President is correct in his assessment of the training that teachers receive. This lack of knowledge is why American students are failing to keep up with other countries in basic knowledge and skills. Not acknowledging the problems is why public schools should be evaluated based on results.

  14. Kendra Tilley

    The truth hurts. Public education has outlived it usefulness. Pull up your big girl/boy panties and get to work. There are bigger fish to fry. Perhaps you might work to prove him wrong instead of whining like a bunch of babies. Public schools are nothing but federal indoctrination centers and if parents cared a lick about their kids education they would pull them out of public schools and most private schools today are not much better but parents value the free baby sitting service more than they value good education.

  15. 83ragtop50

    When the shoe fits, wear it – that’s you TOSS.

    1. Syl in ETN

      That was my first thought, too. Plus, since they obviously have a vested interest in failing public schools continuing to operate, anyone should be able to see the reason for their opposition..

  16. Cannoneer2

    The dumbest corner of any college campus is occupied by political science majors.

  17. JB Taylor

    Incompetant liberals do not like being told they are incompetant, go figure. I fully back Arnn, while TOSS, should be tossed.

  18. John Bumpus

    “In the fallout of the event, Ivy Academy’s Skillern Elementary in Hamilton County ended their partnership with Hillsdale College, which provided curriculum support to the teachers and students.”

    The Hillsdale College curriculum is probably far, far beyond good—it most probably is objectively EXCELLENT.

    To me, Ivy Academy Skillern has demonstrated itself in this incident to be a ‘terrified little bunny rabbit’ which is ‘scared of its own shadow.’ I am supportive of both charter schools and home schooling, but Ivy Academy Skillern has demonstrated to me that it does not have ‘the right stuff,’ and if I had a child enrolled there I would be greatly tempted to move my child to another school. It seems to me that Ivy Academy Skillern in an attempt to appease its leftist opponents has just ‘thrown the baby out with the bathwater.’

    This little ‘dust up’ should be instructive to all who support traditional values, conservative values in education. The only people who won this ‘round’ of our present ‘culture war’ are the leftists who are the reason for parents wanting to flee public schools in the first place. When the teacher union leftists next try to create a ‘tempest in a tea pot,’ our political leaders must be prepared to tell them ‘to go to blazes’ in no uncertain terms, and make it ‘stick.’ As I said, our country is presently in a ‘culture war’ and political ‘wars’ are not won by the faint of heart.

    1. Evelyn Mashburn

      I agree with you. Hillsdale is certainly great at sharing information and helping students achieve. I have supported Hillsdale for some years now. They have so much “added value.”

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