In Chu (Syst Control Lett 56:303314, 2007), the pole assignment problem was considered for the control system \dot{x} = Ax + Bu with linear state-feedback \dot{x} = Ax + Bu An algorithm using the Schur form has been proposed, producing good suboptimal solutions which can be refined further using optimization. In this paper, the algorithm is improved, incorporating the minimization of the feedback gain \dot{x} = Ax + Bu It is also extended for the pole assignment of the descriptor system \dot{x} = Ax + Bu with linear state- and derivative-feedback \dot{x} = Ax + Bu Newton refinement for the solutions is discussed and several illustrative numerical examples are presented.