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Betsy DeVos is under fire for calling historically black colleges school choice 'pioneers'

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised the nation's historically black colleges and universities on Monday, as President Trump met with many of their leaders.

However, DeVos' wording angered many supporters of the school. She said they were "real pioneers when it comes to school choice."

But, as many pointed out, HBCUs were often created because they were the only choice for black students during the era of segregated schools.

Many people were stunned by her choice of words.

Some questioned DeVos' memory of U.S. history.

W.E.B. DuBois (US Department of Education)
W.E.B. DuBois (US Department of Education)

DeVos and her Department of Education has already faced criticism for a racially charged incident. A tweet honoring famed black author and activist W.E.B. Du Bois misspelled his name

Many mocked her comments by comparing "school choice" to segregated water fountains.

DeVos said school choice would be a priority after she took over the Department of Education, arguing that students and families deserve flexibility. But critics have argued her policies will leave floundering public schools with no options.

DeVos was the first Cabinet nominee to require a tiebreaker vote from the Vice President to be confirmed. Democrats pulled an all-nighter on the Senate floor to protest her nomination. 

President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump's meeting with HBCU leaders also drew fire for aide Kellyanne Conway's relaxed pose on an Oval Office couch. Some took this as a sign of disrespect for the HBCU presidents in attendance.

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