Betsy DeVos needs to answer a very important question: Who taught her American history at her private school?
What exactly led her to state that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are pioneers “when it comes to school choice”?
As Donald Trump met with the leaders of HBCUs at the Oval Office this week, the new education secretary marked the occasion by delivering a statement that’s not only bafflingly ignorant, but also blatantly racist.
"A key priority for this administration is to create opportunities for communities that are often the most underserved. It’s time to shake things up,” DeVos said. “You are the real pioneers when it comes to school choice. You are living proof that when more options are provided, greater access and greater quality follow.”
Essentially, in this statement, the woman heading the U.S. Department of Education just lauded the education system during legal racial segregation in the United States.
DeVos actually believes HBCUs promoted school choice when, in reality, HBCUs were created because there was a lack of school choice for African-American students.
One doesn’t need to have a Ph.D. to know this fact. Not DeVos, certainly, who could’ve just clicked on the website of the department she heads where all necessary information regarding “Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Higher Education Desegregation” is available.
“Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were established to serve the educational needs of black Americans,” reads the U.S. Department of Education website. “Prior to the time of their establishment, and for many years afterwards, blacks were generally denied admission to traditionally white institutions. As a result, HBCUs became the principle means for providing postsecondary education to black Americans.”
Almost everybody already knows DeVos is wholly unqualified for her new job. However, by twisting historical truth to promote her school choice activism, she proves that she doesn’t even intend to improve.
All those people who said she would be a disaster as education secretary were absolutely right.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts