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Sept. 18 Letters to the Editor

Wrong way

EDITOR: Why would someone who is illegally in a country want to alert authorities, in any way, to their illegal presence (“Legislature OKs licenses for illegal immigrants,” Friday)?

If our immigration system does not allow someone who was brought into to the U.S. illegally at a young age a way to become a legal resident and eventually a citizen, that is the system that needs to be fixed. If the foundation of your house is damaged, putting up siding or a coat of paint over it will not fix it.

This is ridiculous, wasteful, expensive legislation, and our state legislators have lost it.

MARK WOLOCATIUK

Petaluma

Computer playtime

EDITOR: Let me get this straight. Petaluma schools are going to spend valuable instruction time teaching children to drag and drop, add hyperlinks to words and switch between two computer windows in order to prepare them for the state's new computerized tests (“Schools preparing for new standards,” Sept. 5)? Does anyone really believe that is a valuable educational use of children's time, especially in elementary grades?

No wonder the research on adding computers to schools has found the same things that research on adding whiteboards and tablets and projectors has found: It doesn't benefit kids one bit, on average. People invariably use technology not to strengthen instruction but as a distraction from the instruction that kids deserve.

How about assigning children to read the “Little House on the Prairie” or “Charlotte's Web” and then testing them on their knowledge of those literary works? Or how about, you know, having them spend class time actually learning things rather than playing around with computer mice? Apparently, that's too much to ask. I'm sure parents and taxpayers are thrilled.

JOY PULLMANN

Education research fellow, Heartland Institute

Chicago

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