Over at NRO, Dan Lips interviews Former Governor Jeb Bush about education reform.  Particularly interesting is the progress that Bush’s state of Florida has made through bold education reforms:

NRO: In the area of education reform, no state has implemented bolder reforms than Florida did under your leadership. A decade later, are you seeing results in Florida’s classrooms?

Governor Bush: Since the introduction of accountability, high standards, and school choice nearly a decade ago, Florida has seen rising student achievement. Recent test scores show our students continue to make gains in reading and math and now outpace the national average of their peers across the country – in both subjects at every grade level. Today, approximately three quarters of Florida’s students are reading and performing math on grade level, compared to barely half of our students in 2001. This year, the Goldwater Institute, a public-policy think tank in Arizona, took a closer look at education reform in Florida and found that our state’s low-income Hispanic students are actually outperforming the general student population in several states, including the Grand Canyon State.

Florida has made incredible gains during the last decade, but there is so much work left to do. We still have students left behind in failing schools. We are narrowing the achievement gap, but not quickly enough. Too many students graduating from Florida high schools are not prepared for the rigors of college or the workforce.   NRO: What do you think made the difference? Which of the policies that you championed – from setting standards and measuring performance to ending social promotion and expanding school-choice options for families – do you think made the most difference?

Governor Bush: Raising standards, measuring progress, grading school performance, providing educational options and targeting resources to reward success and reverse failure are all tools that are transforming schools and raising student achievement.

However, success is never final. I hope we never stop trying to implement more innovative and audacious reforms.

More here.