Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has come under fire after describing historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as “pioneers” of school choice.
DeVos’s comment, made Monday during a listening session with the HBCU leaders, prompted lawmakers to slam the remark as “uninformed.
In a statement released after the listening session, Devos called HBCUs “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.”
Critics point out that HBCUs were borne out of a lack of options for black Americans following the Civil War, when segregation and Jim Crow laws barred them from attending institutions of higher education.
Meanwhile, President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday on black colleges, which moves the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the governance of the Department of Education to supervision of the White House, where it will come under an executive director appointed by the Trump administration.