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A jump in Tennessee's high school graduation rate between 2002 and 2006 far outpaced
all other southern states and the national average, according to new numbers from the Southern Regional Education Board. But it's only sort-of good news because while the increase (11 points) is impressive, the rate itself (71 percent) still lags regional and state averages. ... The not-so-good news: Tennessee math scores are weak and flat
, showing no statistical gain since 2007 for either fourth-graders
. Nationally, math scores were up for eighth-graders but flat for fourth-graders.
An MTSU poll
finds that Tennesseans dislike guns in bars, are skeptical about flu shots in arms, and have few opinions about who should be the next governor. ... The state's Department of Children's Services received a sexual abuse complaint about Louis Levine four years
before the former Metro Nashville Public Schools substitute teacher was arrested on charges of child pornography, sexual exploitation, and sexual battery. ... In search of a chipper spin on Tuesday's disappointing special election defeat for state Democrats, party chair Chip Forrester describes
the task of regaining control of the House in 2010 as "not a mountain by any means, but a hill."
A Metro councilman says the city's use of eminent domain to grab land for a new convention center is "premature
" at this point. ... A state trooper is placed on leave
for sending around a racist email. ... The Tennessean
's website splashes news
(via the paper's entertainment blog) that Garth Brooks will make a major announcement today and describes it as a "closely guarded" secret. Other outlets
seem to have slipped passed the guards and are reporting that Brooks will come out of retirement to do a run of Vegas shows. Vegas!