Regarding the Oct. 2 column by Lindsey M. Burke, "Improving education means shaking up the status quo":

Since the early 1960s, we have had access to an increasing amount of electronic media: color television, cell phones, computers, iPods and electronic readers. Children play computer games all day instead of forming relationships.

Our gadgets may improve computer skills and eye-hand coordination, but they provide little of the kind of knowledge found on SATs. Perhaps the SAT is testing the wrong skills. It's like testing specific knowledge about shoeing a horse. It's not testing what students are actually learning.

We are experiencing another problem. Babies learn to lift up their heads three weeks or so after they are born. They learn enough language to be able to communicate somewhat in about two years or so. However, learning a language will not happen unless a mother and father talk to the child. A child needs the loving and nurturing voice of a parent to learn from. In our society, the parent, in too many cases, is replaced by a TV. There is no give and take in a relationship with a machine. There is no love or concern. These are a requirement if children are to grow and learn and be able to successfully perform on general knowledge tests. If children start school more than five years behind, they will never catch up.

Our problem is not with schools or teachers but rather with our culture and society. We need to value education more than computer games.

JAMES K. AUMACK

Cape May