OK, I'll make a list of states that I have visited and researched when I was looking for a place to finally settle. I am not being careful to not offend you. I don't know where you got the impression that I was saying anything negative about the people who live in the South. I never said anything that even closely resembles that. If what I say strikes a nerve with you, then (1) what I said is probably true, (2) it's not your fault, and (3) you can do something about it. Contact your state representatives. It's not secret that as a whole, Southern schools are underfunded. It really is not your fault. These are the states with less-than-desireable eductation systems, IMO. Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennesse, North and South Carolina. There are many Northern states with poor education systems, too. If you live in these states, I hold absolutely nothing against you. If you've only ever gone to a public school in one of these states, I better not hear you contradict me. I've been there, I know how it is. I'll say it again, not ALL schools are poor or undefunded. But as a whole this is, sadly, the case. There are only 2 states that have state graduation standards which everyone must fulfill. They include a having a certain number of course sequences, and passing pretty rigorous standardized tests in numerous subjects (in NY, the tests are in Global History [a 2 year course], US History, 4 math tests [1 for each course], foreign language [after 3 years], 4 science tests [1 for each course], and a few others, depending on what classes you choose to take). Not ALL of these are required for graduation with a "Regents Diploma" (better than the school's local diploma). It depends on what sequences are chosen. However, a certain number are required for even the local diploma. I don't know how it's done in California, but I do know that CA and NY are the only two states with state testing requirements. They also have high taxes. Seeing a pattern yet? Out of respect for Leigh, if you feel like carrying this further, start another thread or PM me. I will provide you with more than enough facts to rest my case. Once again, this thread is not about north vs. south. That was 140 years ago. I will not let you guys make me look responsible for hijacking this thread.