It wasn't that long ago--Wednesday--that I was singing the praises--figuratively--of Kentucky's top 5 placement on a nationwide list of public school systems.

Now I can tune up the vocal chords and sing again--figuratively.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, Kentucky ranks ninth in total graduation rate at 87.5% and beats the national average of 82.3%.

This figure represents the 2013-2014 school year.

While statistics show that there are gaps in these rates among various student groups, they are smaller in Kentucky than in other states.

And state education officials say those gaps have narrowed and there has been improvement.

I've been around long enough to remember when rankings like these weren't happening in Kentucky.

I'm sure I'm not alone in being thrilled that that has changed.