Not As Good As You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School

Lance Izumi was a guest on Radio America, with host G. Gordon Liddy. Lance discusses the recently released documentary called, Not As Good As You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School, which exposes the many failing public schools in California and the misallocation of funds by school board officials. Izumi advocates freedom of education in schooling, by arguing that money should follow the student. He explores the success of charter schools that have repeatedly out-performed traditional public schools. He also authored the book, Not As Good As You Think: Why the Middle Class School Needs Choice.

San Francisco, June 18, 2009 – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) announced today the release of its new film Not as Good as You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School. Using data on school performance, interviews with parents, students, principals, and school reformers, Not as Good as You Think shatters the myth that “good” schools are found in “nice” neighborhoods.

The film takes audiences on a tour of some of America’s best neighborhoods—from high-priced Orange County, California, to the hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, to the lush hills of Tennessee—to reveal that schools in America’s middle class and affluent neighborhoods are not adequately preparing kids for higher education, or worse, may be operating under widespread corruption. The film also contrasts the American public school system with that of Sweden’s, a socially progressive country that allows parents, at government expense, to choose any school that fits their children’s needs—private or public—no matter the parents’ income.

The film features Lance T. Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow and PRI Senior Director of Education Studies. “Parents have been willing to stretch their budgets to buy an expensive home near what they believe to be a ‘good’ public school,” said Mr. Izumi. “Unfortunately, many have found out the hard way that despite what they’ve been told by real estate agents, school administrators, and even school officials, the kids attending these supposedly good schools are not performing at grade level, let alone ready for college.” Mr. Izumi added, “It’s particularly tragic under this current economic environment—parents who thought they had ‘bought’ into a good public school are now suffering severe financial setbacks due to dramatically falling real estate values.”

The film was based on the groundbreaking book, Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice, written by Lance Izumi, Vicki Murray, Ph.D. and Rachel Chaney, and published by PRI in 2007. Not as Good as You Think was directed by Nick Tucker. Executive producers are Sally Pipes, Lance Izumi, and Rowena Itchon. The film also received financial support from the Koret Foundation Funds and the Gleason Foundation.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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