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What Readers Are Saying

Kudos for stories, comments on blog post.

Shifting Roles: A Positive Trend

I enjoyed the 9th Annual Salary Survey article (“Administrator Roles Shift with the Times,” September 2009). The story spotlighted certain positions. It was reassuring to see that our salaries in Greenville County were for the most part in line with the survey data.

It was also interesting to see that your story explained how district leaders’ job titles and position descriptions are evolving to reflect that which you would find in the business sector. In my opinion, that evolution is a very positive trend in American school districts that will result in continuous improvement and increased efficiencies. And I’d be curious to obtain a copy of a more complete survey, if possible, from Educational Research Services.

G. Pat Mitchell,

executive director of human resources,

Greenville County (S.C.) Schools

Does This Web Site Work?

I love reading your articles, particularly those in the section “How Well Does This Web Site Work?” In fact, your suggestions have inspired more than a few changes to our district’s Web site, including implementing a feature that translates our site into 35 different languages and adding to our master template a drop-down list containing direct links to each school’s Web site. And I realized that our logo did not link back to the home page. Linking the logo was a simple enough change, and it definitely adds to the usability of our site.

Jesse Glaves,


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District,

Soldotna, Alaska

High Praise for Greg Utecht

Your recent Administrator Profile story covered one of our member technology coordinators, Greg Utecht of Lakeville (Minn.) Area Public Schools (“Technology Pioneer from Past to Present,” September 2009).

Greg has been a valued tech coordinator member for many years. He was awarded the title TIES 2008 Technology Leader last year, from which we nominated him for the national CoSN leadership award. It was good to see other public recognition of his work.

Dianne Tourville,

graphics, Web and print,

TIES Communications

Textbook Value Is Questioned

In response to an August 10 Tech Disruptions blog post, “Textbooks Do Have Some Good Qualities”:

An e-textbook is just a textbook in a different medium. Textbooks, especially in K8 science, are notoriously bad. And the notion that losing textbooks leaves the teacher with nothing is incorrect. There are better alternatives to K8 textbooks.

Joseph J. Bellina Jr.,

professor of physics,

Saint Mary’s College (Indiana)

And in another response to the same blog:

No offense, but you missed it entirely. It’s not about printed versus digital. It’s about the entire metaphor of a “textbook” that’s essentially out of gas.

Matt Federoff,

chief information officer,

Vail (Ariz.) School District

Blogger Elliot Soloway responds:

Textbooks have run “out of gas,” as Mr. Federoff points out, but it is no mean feat to create a complete lesson aligned with standards. Textbooks have played an important role in that. We need to create support for teachers in creating lessons.

Letters to the editor may be sent to, or mailed to Judy F. Hartnett, District Administration, 488 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. Selections that are published may be edited for length and clarity, and become the property of District Administration.