DeVos backs off claim that black colleges are 'pioneers' of school choice
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Historically Black colleges and universities were born out of “necessity” rather than the pursuit of school choice, Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosCongress rebuffs DeVos in spending bill: report DeVos battles lawmakers in contentious hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE said Tuesday.

In a series of tweets, DeVos acknowledged that the schools were initially established because African-American students were often not accepted to predominantly white colleges and universities.

The Education secretary took heat earlier Tuesday for calling HBCUs “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” an education policy that DeVos has fervently advocated for.

“They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and great quality,” DeVos said in a statement. “Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.”

But that comment immediately spurred criticism.

Leaders from the country’s HBCUs are currently in Washington meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE and administration officials and congressional Republicans. Trump signed an executive order aimed at boosting HBCUs Tuesday afternoon.