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 DeVosDems call on DeVos to work with CFPB to protect student borrowers DeVos halts progress toward ending campus rape Betsy DeVos is right to fix Obama's campus sexual assault policy 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 Trump and administration officials and congressional Republicans. Trump signed an executive order aimed at boosting HBCUs Tuesday afternoon.