Letters to the Editor. In the best interests of youth

I take issue with the statement made by John Agresto of the National Endowment for the Humanities that the ``NEH is `challenging the academic community to come up with significant new media, textbooks, curricula, and film' to remedy the problem of high school students being weak in history and geography'' [``Federal funds set aside for social studies,'' Oct. 9]. It is interesting that these subjects are singled out as ones in which students are particularly weak, because they have the highest percentage of athletic coaches as teachers. Is there a connection? I think so. My own experience in the public schools was that coaches were passionately involved with sports but could care less about the subject they were being paid to teach.

I wouldn't want to keep Mr. Agresto from spending millions of dollars of taxpayers' money on educational aids designed to bring academic standards back up to what they were 100 years ago. At the same time, I do not feel it is incumbent upon technology and ``new curricula'' to compensate for individuals who shirk their responsibility. John H. Carlson Temple City, Calif.

The editorial ``Restraining violence on TV'' (Sept. 26) accurately notes that televised violence is excessive, but it did not distinguish between the different levels of violence coming from various sources of television available today.

The observation that television has a responsibility to provide the proper tone for TV programming is already being fulfilled by ``The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,'' ``Smithsonian World,'' ``Masterpiece Theatre,'' and other PBS programs which are too busy exploring arts and sciences, public affairs, and nature to have time for violence. Viewers who want to support an alternative to TV violence do have recourse: watching their local public television station. Jack DuVall WETA TV Vice-president Washington for Program Resources

Curtis J. Sitomer writes that the Supreme Court recently upheld tuition tax credits for parents of parochial schoolchildren, when in fact what was upheld was a tuition tax deduction program in Minnesota [``Supreme Court to focus heavily on fundamental rights,'' Oct. 7]. The blanket statement as printed makes it appear that the constitutionality of tuition tax credit legislation long pending in Congress already has been settled. Stan Hastey Baptist Press Bureau Chief Washington

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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