Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was one of tonight’s early speakers here at the Republican National Convention, and he opened his speech with a big crowd-pleaser: In a nutshell, President Obama can take his “inherited” problems and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine.

Heh. Well said, Gov. Bush — ain’t it the truth, ain’t it the truth.

The meat of Gov. Bush’s speech, however, was all about the potential for education reform and the successes that individual states have seen in creating more opportunity for young people with school choice and by taking on the power of the teachers’ unions. As Condoleezza Rice asserted in her speech last night, education reform could very well be the civil rights movement of our era, and Jeb expanded on that theme in greater detail. Bureaucracy and selfishness are some of the few things standing in the way of better futures for America’s children, and I think education reform is a major opportunity for the Republican party to showcase the possibilities for competitive, federalist solutions to one of our country’s most preventable travesties.

“We must stop excusing failure in our schools and start rewarding improvement and success. We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world. All kids can learn. Governor Romney believes it, and the data proves it. While he was governor, Massachusetts raised standards and today their students lead the nation in academic performance….

“Because he is a former governor, Mitt Romney understands that states must lead this national movement. In Massachusetts, Governor Romney narrowed the gap between students of different races, raised testing standards, and put into place a merit scholarship, the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship that gives students four tuition free years, at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning. He’s a champion for bringing hope to education. And he intends to be a champion for equality of opportunity… a president who always puts students first….