Parents Decry Philosophy Change

Posted: October 11, 1990

Centennial's school board is planning to draft a new "Philosophy of Education," and the prospect has some parents worried.

About 50 parents attended Tuesday's board meeting to voice their concern that the board's new philosophy would eliminate special academic programs in an effort to educate all children equally.

Centennial has been discussing rewriting its philosophy for several years, William Tennent High School Principal Kenneth D. Kastle has said.

A final revision could be years away, board members said Tuesday.

Parents told the board that they particularly did not want changes on the high school level that would affect the Advanced Placement and honors programs.

However, school board President Joan Jankowsky assured the parents that the district had no intention of eliminating the honors program at Tennent.

"These rumors are unfounded," she said.

"We are here to separate the fact from the fiction," parent Faith Cohen said. "We feel that to teach in the middle you would have some students bored and some students lost. Not all students have the same talents."

Superintendent Harry Harhigh echoed Jankowsky's asssurances to the parents.

"We've had no discussions of changing the courses in the high school. Discussions on grouping have been done in the elementary and middle school, but I am personally against homogeneous grouping," he said.

Parent Sherry Kohn said the district's reputation would suffer if advanced classes were eliminated.

"For any of our kids being considered for acceptance to a college, a school district must offer Advanced Placement courses," Kohn said.

"We are concerned about the real-estate value of our homes if word got out that Centennial dropped the AP program."