Tennessee has dropped to 40th in the nation in the ranking of states able to get our children educated:

Little more than 62 percent of Tennessee students graduated with regular high school diplomas on time three years ago — 7.4 percentage points below the national high school graduation rate of 69.6 percent that year.

In addition, Tennessee now ranks 45th in the ranking of states able to keep their kids in school, a stunning drop from the already-low rank of 30th just last year:

In 2000, Tennessee’s [school dropout] rate was the same as the rest of the nation at 11 percent. But by 2004, the national rate improved to 8 percent while Tennessee remained unchanged.

Who to blame?

Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden), chair of the Select Committee on Children and Youth, said the report was alarming.

The study is either false or unconscionable in reporting that our children are this poorly treated,” Herron said.

Ah yes, Head-Democrat-In-Charge blames the study. Of course, he couldn’t possible blame poor leadership (i.e., Gov. Bredesen).

And then there’s this:

Nationally, Tennessee ranked 46 on how children in the state are faring in several areas including infant mortality, low birth weight babies and teenage pregnancies.

We should change our state motto. Something like: Best State to Live In . . . If You Got No Children.

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