Whether or not they can "play the guitar just like a ringing a bell," Tennessee public school children definitely can't read or write so well—or do much math, either. That's the statistical finding of the National Center for Education Statistics, which ranked states according to their average NAEP public school reading and math scores in 2009. Our kids did improve on reading a bit between fourth and eighth grades, but in general, our state ranks pretty low on scores. Here are the specifics:
Average Tennessee Public School NAEP Math and Reading Scores 2009
(The state with the best scores is ranked "1").
Grade four state rank: 44
Grade eight state rank: 42
Grade four state rank: 38
Grade eight state rank: 33