Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosMcAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education Biden DOJ tries to shield DeVos from deposition in lawsuit over student loans The long con targeting student survivors of sexual assault MORE said Monday.
“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.”
DeVos’s comments come as representatives from the country’s HBCUs are in Washington to meet with Republican lawmakers. President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE is expected to sign an executive order related to the institutions on Tuesday.
Her remarks immediately stirred backlash from supporters of HBCUs, who pointed out that the institutions were established because African-American students, often, did not have any other choice.
Betsy DeVos's HBCU statement is reason no. 379 that she should not be secretary of education.— Duke Sage (@realdaveshelton) February 28, 2017
This is not okay. Devos is truly clueless and has far too much power. Her leadership of USEd is dangerous https://t.co/MixGaTEWAX— Jovan Miles (@JovanDM) February 28, 2017
On Twitter, some users argued that DeVos’s statements could be equated to saying that segregated water fountains simply gave people more beverage choices, or that civil rights icon Rosa Parks was standing up for seat choice.
Betsy DeVos said HBCUs were about school choice. As if white/colored water fountains were about beverage options. pic.twitter.com/I3tNlER43n— Resist Dystopia (@AynAyahSteenkur) February 28, 2017
@nktpnd betsy devos: "rosa parks is a real pioneer when it comes to seat choice"— Sam Deutsch (@samdman95) February 28, 2017
Brendan Nyhan, a professor of political science at Dartmouth University, pointed out on Twitter that DeVos’s statement appeared to contradict information readily available on her department’s website.
Betsy DeVos on HBCUs as "school choice" vs. basic historical facts about segregation on her own department's website pic.twitter.com/b6fs5v78W0— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) February 28, 2017