DeVos, HBCU, and Justice
There is just so much to unpack about Betsy DeVos's bonkers attempt to rewrite the story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into an advertisement for school choice.
They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.
HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality.
DeVos has been justly and repeatedly slammed for this. See also here. Or especially this Slate piece.
The statement is wrong on so many levels. She tried some damage control later, but that was not much of an improvement:
“Bucking that status quo, and providing an alternative option to students denied the right to attend a quality school is the legacy of HBCUs,” she said, according to prepared remarks released by her office. “But your history was born, not out of mere choice, but out of necessity, in the face of racism, and in the aftermath of the Civil War.”
She chalked the HBCU story up to structural changes, but since she is personally as rich as all HBCUs put together, that rings a little hollow. And there's a huge irony in that vouchers and charters became popular in the South as a means of escaping the collapse of Jim Crow laws.
But I want to focus on one other aspect of this revelatory mess-- what it says about DeVos's "solution" for a twisted system, a system that is formally and deliberately unjust.
What DeVos could have said was something along the lines of, "HBCUs never should have had to CURMUDGUCATION: DeVos, HBCU, and Justice: