It’s Time to End the Mississippi Bashing

olitico Magazine’s recent article “The States of Our Union … Are Not All Strong” has Mississippi ranked as 51—the “worst” among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. As governor of Mississippi, I disagree. The author herself admits that the method behind assigning these rankings was neither scientific nor comprehensive, so I’ll provide the rest of the story, if you will, and reveal the truth about this great state.

There is no other state in the nation quite like Mississippi. We are, after all, a crossroads: There is no other place with such a rich, diverse tradition of art, music, literature and culture, and no other place that so routinely defies expectations.

Now, every state has room to improve, and Mississippi is working hard to overcome some of its obstacles. From 2011 to 2012 alone, we reduced our state’s teen pregnancy rate more than 10 percent, and we have enacted transformational public education reforms that will ensure that more Mississippi children have the opportunity to achieve success from a solid learning foundation.

Beyond tired “Mississippi is this” or “Mississippi is that” headlines, though, is a state that offers great rewards.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/mississippi-gov-phil-bryant-end-the-bashing-102667.html#ixzz2rhvUoiGW
1/27/14