Betsy DeVos Spawns Outrage With Claim That Black Universities Prove Success Of School Choice

ABC News reports:

Angry social media users flew into an uproar Monday evening after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a statement that some said ignored the context under which historically black universities were created.

The statement called historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” and came shortly after President Donald Trump held a meeting with several HBCU leaders on Monday.

Some social media users said DeVos ignored the history of how black Americans were denied access to higher education. Meanwhile, others said the statement applauded the segregated Jim Crow education system for giving black students “more options.” The hashtag “HBCUs” trended on Monday evening and was briefly the most-mentioned hashtag on the social networking platform.

More from Inside Higher Ed:

Most of the statement is innocuous. She praises black colleges. In perhaps a sign not to expect too much money from the Trump administration, she says, “[r]ather than focus solely on funding, we must be willing to make the tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential.” And she notes that black colleges were created when “there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.”

But DeVos goes on to link black colleges to the issue of school choice — a cause for which she is an advocate. “HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” she said. “They are 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.”

While that summarizes the school choice argument, social media lit up late Monday with supporters of black colleges noting that the institutions were founded because black students had, in many respects, no choice. They could not enroll at predominantly white institutions in the South, even public institutions in their own states. Further, as states created public historically black colleges, they did so to meet “separate but equal” requirements, and never took the equal part of that statement seriously.

  • Tomcat

    She is dumb as a box of rocks.

    • clay

      and she lies like a rug.

      • Tiger Quinn

        A cheap one.

    • Oh’behr

      … and, at least rocks are useful. Road construction, landscaping and terracing, some are pretty to look at, you can skip them on a lake, etc.

      • clay

        ” . . . a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl . . . “

      • Harley

        And save the ones with prointed edges for stoning tha abominations like gays and adulterers…..well maybe not the adulterers as long as they say they’ve repented and try really really hard not to do it again. And they are straight.

        • Silver_Witch

          Oh unicorn don’t even give them any suggestions for using their box of rocks. They are quite busy enough ruining people’s lives.

      • Tiger Quinn

        Or murder an enemy!

    • PeterC

      And remember, it is hard to reshape a rock.

  • Michael R

    ” They were happier working the fields anyway ” –
    Vice Education Secretary Phil Robertson

    • clay

      But seriously, Jerry Fallwell, jr. hasn’t been a shining light on a hill for education integration.

      • MaryJOGrady

        Nor the Bob Joneses, pere et fils.

        • Robincho

          She was speaking of Alexandre Dumas in the original poem, but we can easily retool Dorothy Parker to fit the BJs —

          “Although I work, and seldom cease,
          At Bob Jones père and Bob Jones fils,
          Alas, for me, I do not care
          For Bob Jones fils and Bob Jones père.”

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    No educated person could argue that HBCUs are an example of school choice. Once again she proves her ignorance.

    • clay

      Next, as one twitter suggested, she’ll say white and colored drinking fountains were about increasing beverage choice, and that banning sugary drinks from grade schools is anti-choice.

      • Todd20036

        Honestly, I could see her actually making that claim

      • Tiger Quinn

        They DID make that claim when Moo-shelle created her School Lunch Regime. That making kids eat a balanced lunch was robbing them of their Constitutional right to choice. Ugh.

        • Todd20036

          Yeah, and her telling children to exercise more is her being part of the nanny state telling others what to do.
          Meanwhile, Melanoma’s cause, decrease internet trolling, is already DOA given her husband’s antics.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    Gee, all those private schools she attended sure did a bang-up job of teaching her US history. What a compelling case her lack of knowledge and context makes…

    • clay

      I thought it was all her years in Higher Ed administration that she learned about HBCUs by osmosis.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        [Betty DeVos is asking you a question]: Osmosis, is that the Mormon way that additional Osmond children are brought into this world?

      • TJay229

        Chile….

    • kcken

      It’s like they never cracked a book open in their entire lives… other than the bible, and I’m pretty sure they only glanced at a few highlighted passages.

    • Dejerrity Mycron

      Crouching Liar, Hidden Drag Queen

    • Gustav2

      Holland Christian Schools and Calvin College taught her ri-ight!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_College

    • Heather Hickman

      Well, when you attend all white, Calvinist institutions . . .

    • Acronym Jim

      Obviously a product of the Betsy DeVos Amway School for Grifted Children.

    • CJAS

      She attended Christian schools so …

  • clay

    What are these supposed “tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential”? Or, does she just not know what “tangible” and “structural” mean?

    • MaryJOGrady

      The latter is my guess. She is a nincompoop.

      • RNegron

        With a BIG emphasis on ‘poop’.

    • Tiger Quinn

      “You aren’t getting any money, but we’ll have a lot of committees and speeches.”

    • BobSF_94117

      I assume she means “structural reform” to how public school money is distributed, i.e. to private schools. Could also mean destroying the teacher unions.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Good translation, here.

    • JustDucky

      It means “the Jesus schools aren’t getting enough of those sweet tax dollars and we’re gonna change that.”

      So yeah. She doesn’t know what “structural” or “tangible” mean. But she also doesn’t know what “separation of church and state” means.

      • liondon#iamnotatraitor

        ….You mean White Jesus schools!!!

    • By Any Means Necessary

      I know! I know! Betsy’s word salad means “Let’s defund public school systems and send the money instead to private CHRISTIAN church-based indoctrination centers with creationist curriculums!”

      Is her ignorance real? Or is it merely feigned to mask the true depth of her evil xtianist intent?

      There people are not going to go away. They will have to be removed and SENT away.

    • Scott MB

      It is “tangible” that DeVos will destroy the “structural” integrity of our education system. Want proof? I present Michigan, thanks Betsy.

    • Mark

      She means that blacks have all kinds of choices..but those poor little showflake xtians need help.
      DeVos is so friggin white and full of privilege – it makes me puke.

      • gwhiz007

        But the entire reason HBCUs exist now is because the history of segregation and slavery creating an absence of choice. She can’t be this intentionally dim…this has to be institutional trolling

        • CJAS

          She’s white. She’s rich. This is the United States. She can be this violently mediocre … and be Secretary of Education.

        • Mark

          No. I fear it is white ignorance. Pasty white ignorance

  • Sam_Handwich

    this what happens when you toss a word salad too long

  • dcurlee

    Again shows how uninformed and out of touch she is

  • DaveMiller135

    To be fair, we’re looking for historical context from someone who wasn’t doing this last month.

    • clay

      Her only school context is privatization.

    • The_Wretched

      If DeVos is unfit for her seat, and she is, it’s entirely fair to ding her on this one.

      • DaveMiller135

        My wit’s a little dry. I mean that she wasn’t doing anything to do with education a month ago, as you easily might suppose someone who would end up the Secretary of Education for a country would be.

  • Butch

    According to yesterday’s MLive (sorry I don’t have a link), Michigan is at the bottom of the list nationally in terms of student achievement and proficiency. DeVos has been “active” in school “reform” here for years, and a good portion of the students attend charter schools. Draw your own conclusions.

    • clay

      Even then, she perjured herself in her confirmation hearing, claiming that the school administration company she’s been most supportive of had twice the graduation rate it actually has.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson
      • Butch

        That’s the one; I didn’t have the ambition to search for it this morning. My bad.

  • greenmanTN
    • Oh’behr

      Though, DeVos is to beauty as Jesus and home skoolin’ is to edumakasun. She isn’t even a pretty lady.

      • greenmanTN

        Funny how He could call “Mary!” and twelve heads would turn…

      • greenmanTN

        Maybe if you’re a male Black Widow spider she’s pretty hot stuff?

  • ChrisInKansas

    Trump’s cablnet has proven to the world that intelligence is not at all necessary to accumulate wealth.

    • Todd20036

      No. It can be luck of the vagina, it can be due to a complete lack of ethics so you can scam enough people to make money (televangelists, or slumlords), it can even be because you’re an idiot savant like Ben Carson is.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      Wealth also encourages arrogance, which in turn leads to zealotry, that leads to massive violence. Especially when practiced by the insane.

      Exhibit A:

      (Hey guys, he’s EVIL. You can’t fix that, even if you give him the most toe-curling beej of his life.)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d7a98bb78bef229802be3e526880777b54c86c946e54d6e2e7cdf3140d9322c.jpg

      • JCF

        Is that her bro, Erik Prince?

        • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

          Yes, yes it is.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Betsy Devos: “HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice, and the fact that not a single student has been mauled by grizzly bears at HBCUs is a testament that school choice works!”

    • Todd20036

      WE’RE HERE! WE’RE QUEER! WE DON’T WANT ANYMORE BEARS!

      • Tiger Quinn

        I reject that. I want all the bears I can get.

        • DuaneR

          Ditto!

      • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

        *raises hand*

        But I like bears…

      • Danieruw

        Infested with bears!

  • TJay229

    The face (see pic) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f40fbf73016b40b51332c6692f8560a7492df7c5e6490ec3c59884d2b760acf7.jpg Black people make when some dumb white person says ANYTHING about Black culture, Life, Experiences or Education.

    • Todd20036

      I’ve seen that face, usually when I take my clothes off in front of a black man.
      That means he’s sexually aroused. Right?

      • TJay229

        LoL

  • Dot Beech

    She actually stated that?

    My God, how wealth can insulate a person from reality.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      No doubt. She’s dangerous AND stupid.

  • JaniceInToronto

    She really is an ignorant fool when it comes to education issues. A perfect fit for the Trump cabinet.

    • BearEyes

      she’s more determined to drive her agenda

  • Sam_Handwich
    • Todd20036

      Yeah, after he stopped the lawsuits at the federal level on Texas discriminating against black voters.
      This will be a bunch of colloquialisms, word salads, and revisionist history.

    • clay

      What? celebrating its end?

      • Todd20036

        I’ve celebrated many an end of a black man….
        I doubt Sessions does, even if he does enjoy them on the DL

        • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

          I see what you did there.

      • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

        Right? Thirteen hours to go, and he’ll mutter a few words on how the ni– um, color– er, neg– um, blacks have done a lot to build this country, especially when it came to helping southern cotton growers build the finest plantation mansions in the world.

    • Michael R
      • ByronK

        Every time I see these bottles, I’m reminded of the marketing story about how Gerber failed so badly when they tried to expand into Africa because they didn’t realize that traditionally, food packaging featured pictures of what the contents are. Mmmm, strained baby!

        • Bj Lincoln

          I heard about that. I have heard baby is tender and sweet.

          • ByronK

            Tastes like chicken they say.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      “It’s very important for African-Americans to vote in February.”

      — Jeff

  • greenmanTN

    I knew Ebola had a purpose…

  • Always fun watching conservatives trying to not be condescending, racist douchebags. It’s like watching circus animals trying to do some crazy, unnatural trick only because they know if they don’t they’ll get whipped… except the animals usually succeed.

  • Gigi

    Just when you think DeVos couldn’t be any more dazed and confused…

  • GayOldLady

    The fact that the Secretary of Education thought Historically Black
    Colleges were created to give people more choices is disgraceful. In my
    hometown we had 3 Black Colleges one of those colleges was a Medical
    school. All of them were founded because Blacks couldn’t attend white
    universities in the South. Has DeVos forgotten that in 1963 the Governor
    of Alabama, George Wallace, physically stood in the door of the
    Admissions building at the University of Alabama and refused entrance to
    African Americans? Has she forgotten that every school in the South was
    segregated until 1964. Some Southern school systems held out even longer.HBCU’s were created out of necessity, not to broaden the menu of opportunity for African American’s.

    • clay

      And it’s not just the South. Cheyney and Lincoln in Pennsylvania are among the oldest (oldest and oldest accredited degrees). But then take a look at their CURRENT funding from the state . . .

    • Beagle

      I doubt that she’s forgotten. You can’t forget what you never knew.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • Tiger Quinn

      This picture more than anything has made me so angry. So many people there, dressed up, respecting the moment (even if it is Trump) and there is that hillbilly hag with her damn BARE FEET ON THE COUCH in front of all of these people, who could not look more like “whose niece snuck in here and why hasn’t she been drug out yet” if they tried. Just gross.

      • clay

        What makes you think she wouldn’t put her shoes on the furniture?

      • Bj Lincoln

        It is crass, grossly disrespectful and uncouth. If any of us kids had behaved like that in front of my mothers guests, we would have has our ass beat for being so rude. On top of it she is playing with her damn phone! She is not some stupid teenager with bad manners at home.

      • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

        She’s definitely wearing her shoes. She has no respect for anything.

      • DonnaLee

        Actually she had her shoes on digging into the back to the couch, which is way worse.

    • clay

      That’s either the Congressional Black Caucus, or the presidents and provosts of the HBCUs.

      • BobSF_94117

        Either way, too many people smiling.

      • Goggles

        Representatives of the HBCUs. Shout out to them for appearing in that propaganda shot; luckily Conway is there to ruin it.

      • Derrick Johns

        No. The Congressional Black Caucus members don’t have bellies that big in that photo–bellies as big as Trump’s.
        Speaking of the CBC, have y’all ever seen Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. He is a dreamboat.

    • Sam_Handwich

      twitter’s been having fun with this. #nastykellyanne

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5uhi7_U4AUxGHH.jpg

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      Goddammit, bitch!

      Get your filthy cloven hooves off of OUR SOFA!!!

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Saw a “Seinfeld” photoshop last night, but wasn’t hip to the hashtag. And I’ve been thinking until now, “What’s on Earth is the possible SOURCE?!” for that… positioning.

      That it’s this makes me puke.

  • ByronK

    Isn’t that like saying Blacks Only drinking fountains encouraged hydration because of the expanded options for water?

    • david fairfield

      Brilliant!

  • Clive Johnson

    Who cares about actual evidence when you have your dogmatic conservative beliefs?

    Dismal Voucher Results Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins
    http://tinyurl.com/z6278ew

  • Derrick Johns

    First Flynn, now her. Who’d have thought that Donald Trump could appoint people to his administration who are more uneducated than he is. Well, he done done it.

    DeVos even looks kinda’ stupid. That’s bad when you even look stupid. But just like our president she has billions of dollars as a cover. Stupid billionaires: maybe that will be the title of Trump’s next reality tv show when he leaves the White House.

    • The_Wretched

      Bannon has openly said he selected the secretaries based on who will destroy the departments that they run. DeVos is right on schedule.

  • Silver_Witch

    Wonder if MsDeVos has a bathroom in the garage for her servants? She seems to be wasting her education by making illogical statements.

  • Gerry Fisher

    In competition, there are losers. School choice, by definition, will provide an inferior level of education to a large swath of students. Is it her Leave Many Children Behind?! (Also, I’m well aware of her history of not holding charter schools accountable and how many underperformed in her home state.)

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Well, bless her heart.

  • Natty Enquirer

    DeVos: Separate but equal!
    Supreme Court: No.

  • david fairfield

    She keeps saying that she wants to make changes…in this case tangible structural changes whatever that means…and I wonder if transgender students, now that they are legally open targets for discrimination, are feeling that their “full potential” has the same value as others……….

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      “Tangible structural changes” = chaos and destruction of public education.

  • JDS
  • gwhiz007

    Is her misread here intentional? Because the very reason HBCU’s exist in the first place is because African Americans were denied access to non-segregated schools for generations, not the other way around.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Freedom is Slavery.

    • CJAS

      No, she’s just wildly misinformed. This narrative is common in Christian publications.

      • -M-

        i.e. She’s a willing victim of confirmation bias and echo chamber group think.

        • CJAS

          Yes.

      • gwhiz007

        It looks awfully silly in the harsh light of day.

        • CJAS

          Not to her kind it doesn’t.

    • Robert Conner

      Church makes people stupid and Batshit DeVos is Exhibit A. The woman’s literally an obscenity.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “real pioneers when it comes to school choice”?

    No. Just, Fuck No.

  • BlindBill

    she has just a “solution” and is fishing for justification …… she believes schools vouchers are the answer, and is unwilling to accept the evidence that the voucher system will break public education and result in fewer well educated Americans.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Feature, not a bug, on that side of the Crazy Mirror.

    • CJAS

      Yes. A final solution.

    • CraigNJ

      It’s all part of President Bannon’s plans for the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Translation, let it burn!

  • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

    To me, the thing I find most incredible is that the whole “school choice” shit has a snowball’s chance in hell is ONLY in areas with populations that make charter schools viable. Cities and suburbs will have them. Parents get to choose between irreparably damaged public schools, charter schools with no accountability and oversight, or religious private schools turning out students woefully unprepared to function in a diverse society.

    But what about West Bumfuck, Michigan? The nearest Walmart or medical facility is an hour away, and kids from K-12 share the same public school building. These districts rely on state funding since there’s no way the local tax base can support anything. When state funding is inevitability cut to the bone and each family gets a voucher, there’s no other option for them but their crumbing public school, even if parents would be able to scrape and save enough for a better school. The kids are stuck in a leaky, unheated building taught by people who basically earn a stipend, with worthless textbooks, no food service, and no technology training. These kids will have absolutely no chance to compete against their literate peers for jobs of any kind, if they’re even able to afford to leave home.

    And the rural poor are among the strongest and most dedicated 45 supporters. They’re screwing themselves beyonf belief.

    • CraigNJ

      Online schooling from any number of for profit DeVoss owned learning companies. Oh wait, you need high speed internet access for that. Here’s your voucher, good luck!

  • Robert Conner

    Church makes bitches stupid.

  • ArchiLaw

    When you have only one lens, you see everything through it. And that can blind you to truth.

  • Ninja0980

    As tone deaf as it gets.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    “Tin Ears, get your Tin Ears here!”

  • Maggie 4NoH8

    There are waaaaaaay more shitty white people than there should be.

  • SnowFlake

    remember out children’s education is in the hands of this fucking idiot!

  • JCF

    The statement called historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,”

    Following the outstanding history of water fountain choice!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1074c82bf2b3916d3c35fa9479f24d89a5b2616deaad68db946a3dd23704c787.jpg