Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn didn’t hold back and said what everybody knows is happening. He had gone to a private college event in Tennessee and was caught on hidden camera. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was Arnn’s guest. Local news tried to twist it so it sounded like Arnn was disparaging educators. He wasn’t. Arnn was instead referring to the educational bureaucracy.
Hillsdale is different
The state of Tennessee and Hillsdale have a partnership. There’s going to be dozens of classical K-12 charter schools across the state.
Arnn criticized the Department of Education, the National Association of Education Unions and a number of universities with their accreditation programs. Once the story was published, Claude Pressnell Jr., president of Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, wasn’t happy. He called it “incredibly disturbing”.
This is incredibly disturbing. Dr. Larry Arnn’s demeaning portrayal of Tennessee’s Ed prep programs and professors is uninformed and offensive.
I’m disappointed that @GovBillLee is not on record with Dr. Arnn defending the integrity of Tennessee’s education programs.
— Claude (@Pressnell) June 30, 2022
The local news station kept the record of the event to themselves so nobody else could look at what Arnn said. The outlet said Arnn “repeatedly mock[ed] the intelligence of public school teachers and question[ed] whether they really care about what is best for their students” which is not what Arnn did at all.
Hillsdale spokeswoman Emily Davis put out a statement,
“Dr. Arnn was clearly criticizing the educational bureaucracy that has done a great disservice to both teachers and students by depriving them of the high-quality, content-rich education that makes for excellent teaching. Hillsdale College has been in the serious business of education and teaching for more than 175 years. It wants what parents want: for as many children in America as possible to have access to high-quality educational options. The college’s approach to classical education in the liberal arts and sciences — combined with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue — is the very best at teaching the whole child, helping students understand the world, and preparing young people for a life of service and flourishing. We look forward to assisting in that noble endeavor in Tennessee.”
Hillsdale goes back to basics
Bill Lee’s office backed Arnn as well,
“Critics dishonestly claimed that a recent event with Hillsdale College criticized Tennessee teachers when it did not. Criticizing activism and other Left-wing issues that creep into the classroom is entirely separate from sentiments about the value or performance of Tennessee teachers. Our respect and support for educators in Tennessee wasn’t up for debate then and it isn’t now.”
Hillsdale is a Christian liberal arts college that refuses to accept federal funding, thereby limiting federal influence. Arnn pulled no punches about the National Education Association, “They’re the biggest gorillas, and they have a monopoly on education.” The NEA is hugely Democrat with 94% of their donations going that direction.
Bad education destroys people
Arnn spoke of the differences in their education versus the public system.
“Ed departments in colleges, if you work in a college, you’ll know this – unless you work in the Ed department, ours is different – but they are the dumbest part of every college. If you study physics, there’s a subject, right? How does the physical world work? That’s hard to figure out. Politics is actually the study of justice. What is justice? Some of the greatest books ever written are written about that. ‘Plato’s Republic’ is written about that. Literature – they don’t do it much anymore, but you can read the greatest books, the most beautiful books ever written. Education is the study of how to teach. Is that a separate art? I don’t think so.
[Bad] education destroys generations of people. It’s devastating. It’s like the plague. The philosophic understanding at the heart of modern education is enslavement and we have to break out of that. It’s an organized force. The teachers are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country, and they are taught that they are going to go and do something to those kids. Do they ever talk about anything except what they are going to do to these kids?”
The Hillsdale President continued
“My wife is English, and she’s a gardener, and she doesn’t talk about what she is going to do to these plants. She talks about what they need, because if you give them what they need, they will grow. It’s not a manufacturing operation. They’re messing with people’s children, and they feel entitled to do anything to them, and if you mess with that, they’ll call the FBI on you.
In colleges now, what you hire now is administrators. You don’t get faculty anymore, you get kids to do that, if you can. And the administrators you hire are all diversity people. And that helps you, by the way, with your federal requirements that you have a certain number by color. And what do they do? What they do is tell everybody else what to do. And now, because they are appointing all these diversity officers, what are their degrees in? Education. It’s easy. You don’t have to know anything.”