Melanie Scarborough ["The Wrong Governor for President," Close to Home, July 3] tried to advance the presidential aspirations of George Allen (R), former Virginia governor and now U.S. senator, while mocking Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D).

Ms. Scarborough discounted Mr. Warner's successes as governor. But despite the budget problem that Mr. Warner inherited from his Republican predecessor, James S. Gilmore III, Virginia is much better off now than it was when Mr. Gilmore was in office.

Ms. Scarborough suggested that the Standards of Learning (SOL) program instituted when Mr. Allen was governor is a whopping success. To the contrary, in its current form, it is doing more harm than good. Virginia educators now are obsessed with high test scores above all else. They teach to the test and are losing the opportunity to teach creatively. Many teachers believe the SOLs are flawed.

Although it's hard to say what kind of president Mr. Warner would make, he has proven he has the negotiating skills that Republican icon Ronald Reagan had when he was governor of Democratic-dominated California. Like Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), Mark Warner also has shown his willingness to negotiate to benefit Virginians.

The negotiating and compromising that Mr. Warner has done during his governorship has earned him the right to take credit for some of Virginia's good fortunes. Mr. Allen's world has no room for compromise, just the usual far-right rhetoric of "my way or the highway." That's not what America needs from its leaders.