MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee governor Bill Lee is facing criticism for sitting quietly as a college president blasted teachers.

In a video circulating online, Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College said teachers are “trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges” as Governor Lee sat with him on stage.

Instead, Lee on Wednesday praised Tennessee’s educators and argued that the comments from Arnn were criticizing “activism from the left.” Governor Lee says the activists are pushing their own agenda in public schools.

Tennessee house speaker Cameron Sexton says Arnn “insulted generations of teachers who have made a difference for countless students.”

Sexton added that the state has successful Tennesseans because teachers made a difference in their lives.

Just a few months ago, Governor Lee announced a partnership with Hillsdale college to open dozens of new charter schools across the state.