Following outrage from Alabama Democratic leaders and organizations over his comments about failing inner-city schools, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) clarified his remarks while doubling down on his original point.
During a recent episode of Donald Trump, Jr.'s podcast "Triggered," Tuberville said, "The COVID really brought it out about how bad our schools are and how bad our teachers are in the inner cities. Most of them in inner cities; I don't know how they got degrees, to be honest with you. I don't know whether they can read and write."
Many people, including the Alabame Education Association, criticized Tubersville's statements as unfair and insulting to Alabama educators. But a spokesperson for the Senator said that's not what he was talking about.
"In the interview, Coach Tuberville spoke specifically about Baltimore. Twenty-three schools in Baltimore were recently found to have ZERO students who were proficient in math. That's what Coach was talking about," Hannah Eddins, Tuberville's deputy press secretary, said.
"As for 'inner city' versus suburban schools or rural schools, again there are countless examples of this problem nationwide," she continued. "Chicago, for example, also had 55 schools without a single student proficient in math and 33 schools without a single student proficient in reading. Four out of five D.C. students are not proficient in math and two-thirds are not proficient in reading and writing. The list goes on. Coach is far from the first person to criticize inner-city schools, and the critics know that. Can the critics really say our current education system is successful?"
Tuberville said in the interview that "his compassion for kids trapped in failing schools" was one of the reasons he decided to run for office.
"As a Coach and a mentor unlocking opportunity for young people for 40 years, he watched a marked decline in our education system and found it deeply alarming," Eddins said. "That's why Coach is a strong supporter of school choice."
Eddins condemned the efforts of Democrats and certain news outlets for trying to start "another media-feeding frenzy by misconstruing something Coach said."
"Frankly, instead of more phony outrage, we need more compassion for kids trapped in these schools," she concluded. "Those who are in a position to improve our schools should improve our schools."
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