As a Slate piece noted, DeVos issued a statement that effectively "celebrates legal segregation on the grounds that the Jim Crow education system gave black students 'more options, ' as if there was a robust competition between HBCUs and white universities for their patronage". But if you think about this analogy for five seconds, you'll see that problems abound - and in fact by painting school choice as a form of "separate but equal" education system, DeVos is doing her critics' work for her.
"I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children", Trump said in his speech.
Most argued that black students had absolutely no choice due to discrimination and segregation and therefore historically black colleges had to be created.
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday that announces the restructuring of an existing initiative to address the needs of black colleges.
Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos, center, and Omarosa Manigault participate in a listening session with heads of historically black colleges and universities in Washington, on February 27, 2017. She will now be in charge of almost 100,000 public schools across the country and over 50 million children.
Those who don't learn history are doomed to become head of the Education Department, I guess. A last-minute decision to stage a photo opportunity with President Trump meant "there was very little listening to HBCU presidents today", wrote Walter M. Kimbrough, the president of Dillard University, in a post on Medium.
Historically black colleges date to the pre-Civil War era when public policy in parts of the nation barred blacks from education.
"You've transformed lives through education and helped to lead our country to a more flawless union", Pence said when he met with the leaders, according to the Washington Post.
Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, also skewered DeVos, suggesting she "study the history" of HBCUs and "check the facts".
DeVos' school choice backing threatens to take funding away from failing schools who may need the funding the most.
Along with President Trump, school voucher-supporter DeVos met with presidents from historically black colleges and universities on Monday.
If this is the kind of school choice that DeVos is hoping to bring nationwide, we are up a worse creek than previously thought.
A press release from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has enraged. "I believe that our nation is in a pivotal time and I am hopeful that DeVos is able to use her position to focus on steering the young minds of our nation into a direction that will not only create better schools in the future, but a better country as well".