Spellings, HBCUs, No Child and 9/11
Speaking on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings offered praise for historically black colleges and universities this week at the annual HBCU Week conference in D.C.
"Education remains our single greatest safeguard against the ignorance that led to those terrible acts and the source of the freedom and progress that allows us to persevere," she said, according to a press release. "HBCUs have always known how important education is to preserving our freedom … From Langston Hughes to Oprah Winfrey, former students of HBCUs have made an historic mark on this nation, and continue to do so today."
Spellings said federal funding for HBCUs has increased 29 percent since 2001, but the press release didn't break down the numbers for individual HBCUs, including the four in Florida (FAMU, Bethune-Cookman, Edward Waters and Florida Memorial). The secretary also threw in a plug for No Child Left Behind, the sweeping 2002 law that's now in the midst of a heated re-authorization. The law's accountability provisions are needed, she said, "so no African American student, or any child, can be shuffled along without acquiring the skills they need to succeed."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter