I feel for the teacher who now has to "teach for the test" to possibly keep his/her job. The purpose for testing is to help instruction, to focus on areas needing help. Very many factors are in play influencing a student taking a test, such as health, personal discipline, time spent reading out of school and, most important, the home environment. It is a cultural problem and a great challenge for any teacher. — Lynn Berntson, Jacksonville

I feel for the teacher who now has to "teach for the test" to possibly keep his/her job. The purpose for testing is to help instruction, to focus on areas needing help. Very many factors are in play influencing a student taking a test, such as health, personal discipline, time spent reading out of school and, most important, the home environment. It is a cultural problem and a great challenge for any teacher. — Lynn Berntson, Jacksonville

On "Meet The Press" last week, Speaker Boehner stated that his way of life was being snatched away by Obama and his policies. From where I stand, I don't think that is the case.

Obama has not, in a systematic way, tried to destroy labor unions in this country who were responsible for many of the good-paying jobs that have not gone overseas. Obama is not responsible for neglecting our infrastructure, such as our nation's highways, sewer systems in our large cities and the electrical grid of this country. Obama is not responsible for some idiot arguing for "intelligent design" and allowing most Asian students to run circles around American students. Obama did not oversee two wars for five years and allow our debt to increase to unsustainable levels.

I think Speaker Boehner should look in the mirror and realize that he and the GOP are the reason why his way of life is quickly disappearing. — Lindsay Paulk, White City

The Medford City Council is discussing whether to move forward with a community aquatics facility. Some people think this is unimportant; will they feel the same when it's 100 degrees out? When another child drowns because they don't know how to swim? When they realize there isn't a therapy pool, or a pool for their grandchildren?

We know that both Jackson and Hawthorne pools are a zillion years old, are so far out of "code" that they can't be repaired or renovated, and they don't fulfill our communities' needs.

Did you know that every sport — baseball, soccer, basketball, skateboarding, etc., and yes, even BMX — have public facilities available, except competitive swimming! Every high school has a swim team; we have club teams. State and regional champion swimmers, and national swimmers in our valley who practice daily in substandard pools. Where would our swimmers be if they had a real pool? Where would we be if more kids had an opportunity to learn and compete at a public facility?

Let's not forget the revenue that would be generated when we host a swim meet and we have 400 swimmers and their families' spending money here! — Ginny Dow, Medford

I can see how some who call themselves conservatives would consider NPR to have a "wildly liberal bias." Pursuing the truth is an affront to those who distort it.

For example, during the health care reform "debate," NPR had the audacity to fact check some of the blatant lies being spewed by its opponents. Let your congressman know we want more of that, not less. Besides, what would life be like without Car Talk? — Michael Steely, Medford