Betsy DeVos walks back controversial black-college comment

Last Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 6:46 PM EDT

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is walking back a controversial comment she made earlier this year about the nation's historically black colleges being "pioneers of school choice."

DeVos told the Associated Press during an interview:

“My intention was to say they were pioneering on behalf of students that didn’t have another choice. This was their only choice... At the same time, I should have decried much more forcefully the ravages of racism in this country.”

She said she "should have decried much more forcefully the ravages of racism in this country."

In February, DeVos described historically black colleges and universities as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice." That prompted students at Bethune-Cookman University to boo and turn their backs to her during a May commencement speech there.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.