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Do it now, Louisiana

Tony Bennett's on the road again – this time taking his message to Baton Rouge, for a "Leadership for Change" confab organized by a Republican state lawmaker in Louisiana.

According to the Shreveport Times, the Indiana state superintendent didn't mince words.

When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cautioned that school reform "is a decade-long struggle," the newspaper reported that Bennett's response was "That's crap. Our kids don't have 10 years. We have to do it now."

Bennett urged Louisiana lawmakers to "think big" and do as much as they can this year.

No problem there -- as in Indiana, the GOP controls the governor's office and both chambers of the legislature. The lawmakers can shove through as much "reform" as they please. In the current winner-takes-all political environment, minority and constituent voices don't really matter.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at