HamCo schools superintendent thanks teachers in a letter for two reasons

The second reason has to do with controversial statements made by a leading educator with Gov. Bill Lee in attendance, and Lee never stood up for teachers

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County’s teachers got a letter of support from the school superintendent today, but there were two reasons why Dr. Justin Robertson wrote that letter.

At the end of every school year, most school superintendents write a letter of appreciation to their educators.

Dr. Justin Robertson is no different in this case.

Today’s letter had one more reason, and it has to do with the governor and his lack of standing behind teachers when a leading educator made controversial statements about them in Governor Bill Lee’s presence.

The letter starts with this: “There is a science to teaching that takes intellect and training to make sure that best practices are implemented in the right way. Needless to say, being a teacher is not easy, and it takes a well-educated, intelligent, and devoted professional to ensure that all students thrive.”

Dr. Robertson: “There’s been a lot of rhetoric about teachers in Tennessee this week, and so the letter was simply to a statement to the community showing appreciation to our teachers for the work that they do and acknowledging the fact that they are well-educated and well-trained professionals.”

The rhetoric Robertson is referring to comes from controversial statements from Dr. Larry Arnn, the chancellor at Hillsdale College in Michigan. He held a private event about education that Governor Bill Lee attended, and said things like what you see here. Lee said nothing when asked why he wouldn’t speak up for Tennessee’s educators.

Gov. Lee spoke with Matt Murphy on WTN Radio in Nashville on July 5th and said, “Nobody speaks for the governor but the governor. And, the governor has never said anything in his three or four years, almost four years now, of being in office except speaking the highest praise for our teachers.”

Robertson says, while T-CAP scores shows the improvement Hamilton County wants to see, the district still sees room for improvement.

“Even though we want to celebrate the results that we got, we know that we’ve got work to do. There’s still gaps between our students with disabilities and our students that don’t have disabilities. There are gaps between our Black students and our White students. There are gaps between our poorer students and our wealthy students, and so we’re always going to continue to try and improve and look at areas that we need to get better, … but, again, there are times that you’ve got to stop and celebrate people.”

Dr. Arnn is no stranger to controversial statements.

Back in 2013, the state of Michigan audited Hillsdale College.

Arnn said it was because the state wanted to know if the school had enough “dark ones” enrolled.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News