Two articles about school real estate were included in the August issue, one focusing on conventional public school districts with buildings for sale, and another about the difficulty that some public charter school operators have in finding appropriate facilities. Each prompted several responses from readers, including these ...

"As a member of the Byron Center School Board, my opinion on selling of school buildings is that if a building is not being used and will not be used in the future it should be sold in an expedient fashion. Sitting on property in today’s economic times is a poor use of school funds and resources ..."

-school board member, Byron Center

"When I first began my career at the school, the school itself was only in its second year of existence. We … were housed in an older structure that had been a parochial school. Since then … we have moved into a state-of-the-art building, complete with theater, computer labs and gymnasiums. Charter public schools have to be much more creative with their money, especially when it comes to buildings. The test of time has shown that charter public schools are here to stay and are doing more with less."

-charter public school teacher, Taylor

The article "Better Writing: High-scoring schools say it’s not easy" discussed reasons for Michigan’s lower standardized test scores in writing compared to reading or math, and how some successful schools approach writing instruction. These readers responded ...

"I enjoyed and agree with the article ‘Better Writing’ and was interested to read how Okemos and other districts improved their writing scores. It seems the 6 Traits and more time spent on writing throughout the curriculum is essential. Our district continually works on writing and it has been a goal of ours for several years, but we still haven’t done enough to improve our writing scores significantly."

-fourth grade teacher, Trenton

"I am fortunate to be a part of a district and school that supports individual teachers and allows for a creative approach to teaching writing. The article ‘Better Writing’ stresses the point that writing takes time, effort, patience, and a willingness to model the risky writing process. The teachers in our department devote a great amount of energy into those daunting requirements, and assign frequent and meaningful assignments. I know no magic formula other than hard work."

-high school English teacher, Okemos