February 28, 2024

Letter to the Editor: If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

All these intense discussions over the new grade configurations for the Newton schools has me a bit confused. When I went through the Newton school system waaaay back in the 60s and 70s, the elementary schools were for grades K-6th, “middle schools” were called “junior high” and were for grades 7-9, and the high school was for grades 10-12.

From what I understand, the current buildings are too out-of-date and must be torn down or repurposed and that is the reason for all the fuss about which grades would attend certain schools? It sounds like maybe some perhaps distracted individuals in the past really dropped the ball when it came to maintaining and keeping ahead of needed upgrades to our schools. Shouldn’t schools take priorities over the pet projects of some elected officials? I guess not.

Evidently, city officials were too absorbed in spending money on touristy-type improvements to bother fixing the crumbling school buildings students were attending? The whole Berg debacle is a great example of poor planning and execution, in my opinion.

The population of Newton has not increased at all since I attended high school, so what was the problem with keeping those past grade configurations?

Why were classes shuffled around in the first place?

I received an excellent quality education from Newton schools. And as far as I know, everyone was very happy with a system that was working very well for students, teachers and parents.

What changed? Change for the sake of change isn’t fiscally responsible. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

John Moore

Newton