DeVos Slammed For Calling Black Colleges ‘Pioneers’ Of School Choice

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday night released a statement suggesting that historically black colleges were the product of a “school choice” movement, prompting swift backlash on Twitter and from Democratic lawmakers.

“They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education,” DeVos said in a statement. “They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution.”

“HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” she added. “They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

DeVos’ statement painting African Americans’ efforts to create higher education options for themselves in a segregated society as a “choice” earned her criticism from Democratic members of Congress and others:

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