Media Engineers Hit Campaign From Secret Recording Of Hillsdale College President Telling The Truth About Teacher Training

The most salacious thing the corrupt media could find in Dr. Larry Arnn’s secretly recorded remarks is something that is factually accurate.

by Joy Pullmann

A GUEST at a private reception last week with Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee secretly recorded the event and then sent the recording to a local media outlet. News Channel 5 then ran a hit story about Arnn’s accurate remark that “teachers are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.”

Selected 30-second clips from the twohour recording that betrayed event-goers’ confidence were next quickly amplified in state media, including the state’s biggest leftist outlet, The Tennesseean. This pressure campaign on Thursday caused a Tennessee public school to drop its use of high-quality, time-tested curricula and training that the college provides any K-12 school for free.

In breathless tabloid fashion, News Channel 5’s story falsely states that Arnn “repeatedly mocks the intelligence of public school teachers and questions whether they really care about what is best for their students.” Then the “reporter” rushes to state Democratic Party officials to jointly manufacture outrage to air at Republicans’ desires to improve public schools.

But Arnn was not mocking the intelligence of all public school teachers. His disparaging remarks were aimed at the education bureaucracy that everyone but leftists knows is politically and morally corrupt. Here’s more context for one of the carefully excerpted Arnn quotes from the secret recording, which shows his focus is on doing what’s best for children and making an argument that teacher colleges don’t focus on that but should.

“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,” Arnn said. “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.” Tennessee media don’t care about truth, they care about helping Democrats maintain their power through educational institutions, even though it causes American children and society to suffer. Look to the devastating lockdowns they demanded and policed if you have any doubts.

“Dr. Arnn continues to hold the utmost respect and admiration for all those who choose to devote their lives to teaching,” the college responded in a Thursday statement. “It is disappointing — though unsurprising — that entrenched elements of the education establishment would take criticism of their abysmal and damaging track record and deflect it towards the very teachers they’ve undermined for decades.”
It’s also simply a logical error to characterize Arnn’s remarks as the media and Democrats have in an attempt to scare Lee off from a K-12 overhaul that would see 50 public schools in the state use Hillsdale’s free, high-quality curricula. Arnn and Lee are working to recruit, train, and employ more public school teachers. They will take anybody honest they can get, as I’ve heard Arnn say multiple times, including to large audiences and in public recordings.

Hillsdale College is working with Lee to overhaul Tennessee’s struggling public education system by opening new public schools as fast as they can recruit highly qualified teachers. Their entire partnership aims to make a better education available through Tennessee’s public school system, both for children and for their teachers, at zero cost to taxpayers and zero financial benefit to the college. (They should also
work to make Christian education available to more Tennessee children, because only a moral people is capable of self-government, and an education that excludes religion, as public schools today are forced to do, destroys faith.)

It’s indisputable that Tennessee’s children and teachers are ill-served by the current system. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the best-available measure of student academic achievement, 69 percent of students in 12th grade, the last year of their Tennessee public school education, are not proficient in reading. Seven in 10. In math, 83 percent of Tennessee 12th graders are not proficient. NAEP says these scores are significantly below the national average, which is itself shameful, as the United States’s public education system ranks academically in the bottom half of developed nations. These data are pre-lockdown, and the post-lockdown numbers are going to be far more devastating.

Teacher quality is the No. 1. thing a school can control that affects student achievement. (No. 2 is curriculum quality.) And, as Arnn said, it’s been wellestablished for decades that U.S. teacher preparation is completely unfair to teachers and their students. Teachers themselves agree that teachers’ colleges are of low quality, as Arnn said. In 2006, 62 percent of teachers told researchers their training didn’t prepare them well for their jobs. In general, education colleges not only do not prepare teachers to succeed in the classroom, they have been so thoroughly corrupted by cultural Marxism that what teachers learn in the typical preparation program actually degrades their skills. These are well-reinforced, longstanding empirical findings bolstered by many forms of evidence. As I wrote in a research summary 10 years ago, “Teachers tend to have below-average SAT, ACT, LSAT, and GRE scores, and statistics show their college coursework is among the least challenging
available. Education majors must take more remedial college coursework than their counterparts in humanities and social sciences. … Traditional teacher preparation programs emphasize education and social theories, which research has demonstrated are ineffective teaching methods.”

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