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Filing, in fact, can involve learning

September 17, 2007

Re "Filing isn't learning," editorial, Sept. 12

Everything I had to know to work in an office, I learned while a high school student in the Office Service Club at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn. This experience enabled me to get good-paying jobs while in college and helped me to efficiently run a Los Angeles school as principal.

Regina Goldman

Los Angeles

The Times states that teachers are "paid to teach," and then it goes on with an effort to eliminate student aides, a prime tool that allows the teacher actually to teach. Without student aides, teachers would become filers, staplers, paper folders, copy-makers and errand runners -- everything but teachers. A good student aide is not only contributing a valuable service but is learning the importance of organization, responsibility, initiative and the behind-the-scenes type of work that is necessary not only in the classroom but in business. In this day and age, a tremendous number of teachers are leaving the profession because of working conditions. If this valuable asset were to be taken away, many teachers would not have the time to teach.

Milt Rouse

Dana Point

To provide elective classes for these students, more teachers will need to be hired and more classroom space provided. While many will support your sentiments, few are willing to reach for their wallets. As a high school teacher (who, by the way, does not have service workers), my observation is that students are programmed into service because there is no room in the elective classes for them. It is not to "lighten the load on those paid to teach." You might try toning down that sort of inflammatory rhetoric and apply some Economics 101.

Alexa Smith Maxwell

Los Angeles

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