I was flabbergasted to read {Metro, Oct. 2} of the D.C. School plan to celebrate American Education Week. The prospect of spending upward of an hour to marshal all the students in D.C., march them out to various streets and have them hold hands and sing, bringing the city to a standstill in the process, is enough to boggle the mind.

Yes, education is of paramount importance for the future of our country and of our city. This, however, is not the kind of attention we need to pay to our children and our schools. It is easy to stage a spectacle. The hard thing is to make sure that from day to day children are sent to school -- on time, properly dressed and fed, with homework done and an attitude of respect for teachers and for learning.

The hard thing is to pay the money to secure competent, eager, well-educated, interesting teachers; to avoid burdening them with extraneous tasks; to keep them from burning out in the intense task of paying attention to the educational and personal needs of large numbers of individual students; to keep them willing and interested to take the time for the continual reading and study needed to be a truly professional teacher.

The hard thing is to provide money for good support personnel, well-maintained buildings, up-to-date equipment and books. The hard thing is to realize that education is not an event or a thing, but a process that will always need appropriate attention.

There are interesting, imaginative and productive ways to further education, but in this case we could do more by holding classes than by holding hands.

ROBERT A. MORSE Washington