RE THE MISSING school books:

What Dr. Ackerman must recognize is that, when the same results are occurring across the district, in different regions, in different types of schools, then the problems lay within the system, not at the teacher's desk.

Planning is the problem. Each year, we have a different number of students, different number of classes. If we have purchased three sets of texts to meet the needs of one year, but we have four classes the next, a shortage exists.

Good students with caring parents who insure that their children do their homework are going to steal a book so they can achieve. Now the shortage is increased, and this happens year after year until we don't have enough books for even the students sitting in class.

Proper planning is the key to avoiding these problems. In my 14 years with the school district, I have yet to meet a proactive administrator who puts children first in the balance sheet.

Let's hope Dr. Ackerman can be the first.

Keith Newman, Philadelphia