(WASHINGTON) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is distancing herself from earlier comments about the nation's historically black colleges and universities being pioneers of school choice.
In an interview with The Associated Press, she acknowledges that in the past "racism was rampant and there were no choices" for African-Americans in higher education.
DeVos alienated many African-Americans in February when she described historically black colleges as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice." In May, she was booed while attending the commencement ceremony at a historically black college in Florida.
Devos told the AP on Wednesday that black colleges were African-Americans' "only choice" and she "should have decried much more forcefully the ravages of racism in this country. "
DeVos added that she has spent three decades campaigning on behalf of minority children.