Only months after announcing a curriculum overhaul including the removal of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, reports indicate that Choate may encounter difficulty in implementing the proposed changes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has publicly declared her firm opposition to the new curriculum. DeVos is the nation’s most prominent leader in education policy, having spent years of her life and millions of her dad’s dollars to climb her way up the ranks of the Republican Party as a “donor-activist” to her current position. With such a strong and respected voice coming out against the new curriculum at Choate, the administration will have to carefully reconsider whether the proposed changes are best for the student body.
DeVos believes that AP courses are necessary at every high school. “I support accountability,” repeated Secretary DeVos multiple times when asked why she disagrees with the changes. “Without AP courses, there is no equal standard between schools: how are we supposed to ensure that all students have the freedom and opportunity to pay the College Board hundreds of dollars to take exams? I believe millions of students at Choate are going to be affected by these changes.” DeVos also has the President’s backing in condemning the new curriculum. When the President found out on a rare trip to Mar-a-Lago resort, he angrily tweeted, “Big losers and haters @Choate want to get rid of AP classes. BAD! They should listen to DeVos, I always knew she was very smart!” Despite her strong stance on this topic, DeVos was at least able to concede that AP exams may not be necessary for a school to be successful in educating its students. “I never took any AP tests, and I turned out fine. In fact, I’m probably so smart today because I never wasted my time taking any tests in school,” claimed DeVos.
The school administration will now have to decide whether or not to heed the advice of Secretary DeVos. Some reports indicate that after hearing her opinion, the school may opt to reverse proposed changes to the curriculum. “Nobody has more influence in the decisions of a private boarding school like Choate than the public sector and the Secretary of Education,” commented a school official. DeVos has been a very active member of the Trump administration, and her willingness to comment on the school’s curriculum has been her greatest accomplishment so far as US Secretary of Education.
At press time, Ivanka Trump ’00 commented on the situation, “I didn’t really take many APs when I was there, so it’s not that big of a deal in my opinion.”