By Christy Hendricks
The Heartland appears to be doing better than the rest of the country when it comes to the percentage of high school students who graduate.
The national graduation rate remained flat between 2002 and 2006 at 74 percent, but three Heartland states made substantial gains.
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri made the list after a report from Johns Hopkins University with Tennessee leading the way in gains for graduation rates across the country.
Here's a look at some numbers.
Tennessee's high school graduation rate made the biggest jump. It increased from 61 percent in 2002 to 72 percent in 2006.
Kentucky is third on the list, jumping from 71 percent to 78 percent.
Missouri ranks 10th, increasing the graduation rate from 78 percent in 2002 to 81 percent in 2006.
While Illinois didn't make the list of the top 12 states, it did see about a two percent increase in graduation rates.
Even though Tennessee made the biggest gain, it's still below the national average of 74 percent.
So what does it all mean?