TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- America's future will be shaped when voters go to the ballot box, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Republican National Convention Thursday in Tampa, Fla.
"This election is about the future of this nation. We can shape that future, with what we do here. With what we do Nov. 6," Bush said Thursday, the final day of the Republican convention. "We can restore America's greatness."
That restoration begins with a strong economy, a smart energy policy, lowered deficits and the election of Mitt Romney, "a president who puts America's workers and job-creators first," Bush said.
To have a great, secure future, "we must make sure our children and our grandchildren are ready for the world we are shaping today," Bush said.
A key to that better future is to improve schools and "start rewarding improvement and success," Bush said. "We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world."
Children must not be judged based on race and income, and they must be given an environment in which they can learn -- and hold those charged with instruction accountable, he said.
And parents should be allowed to choose which school their children attend.
"All kids can learn," Bush said. "Governor Romney believes it, and the data proves it."
Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, raised standards and "today their students lead the nation in academic performance."
Romney also understands the national movement in improving educational opportunities begins at the state level.
"In Massachusetts, Governor Romney narrowed the gap between students of different races, raised testing standards, and put into place a merit 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."
The nation's future is at stake, Bush said.
"Fact is, this election is not about just one office. It is about one nation," he said. "If we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them: an equal opportunity."
"That starts in the classroom; it starts in our communities; it starts where you live," he said. "And it starts with electing Mitt Romney the next president of the United States."