Not as Good as You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School
Not as Good as You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School shatters the myth that good schools are found in nice neighborhoods. Using data on school performance and interviews with parents, students, principals, and school reformers, Not as Good as You Think confirms every parent s silent fear: that their financial sacrifice and investment in an expensive home in a good school district is not yielding the achievement results needed to get their kids into good colleges and good jobs. The film takes audiences on a tour of America s best neighborhoods from posh Orange County, California, to the hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, to the lush green 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, 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 of public no matter the parents income.
About the Actor
Lance T. Izumi is Koret Senior Fellow and Senior Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI), California's premier free-market public-policy think tank based in San Francisco. He is the co-author of the book Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice (San Francisco, CA: Pacific Research Institute, 2007), which has been praised by publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Education Week. He is co-executive producer of the 2009 PRI full-length film documentary Not as Good As You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School, which is based on his 2007 book. In 2008, The New York Times selected Mr. Izumi to be one of its online contributors on the presidential race and education issues. In 2009, The New York Times posted Sweden's Choice, a video op-ed written and narrated by Mr. Izumi, which has garnered critical praise. He is also the co-author of the book Free to Learn: Lessons from Model Charter Schools (San Francisco, CA: Pacific Research Institute 2005), which has been used as a guidebook for creating high-performing charter schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In November 2008, Mr. Izumi was elected to a second term as president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, which is the largest system of higher education in the nation. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger initially appointed Mr. Izumi to the Board in 2004 and re-appointed him in 2009. In 2008, the United States Army appointed Mr. Izumi to its Southern California Advisory Board Executive Committee. In that capacity, Mr. Izumi assists the Army with its community outreach, image enhancement, and recruiting efforts. In 2007, Mr. Izumi was named to the California Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2003, United States secretary of education Rod Paige appointed Mr. Izumi to the Teacher Assistance Corps, a task force of experts assigned to review state teacher quality plans as they relate to the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Mr. Izumi is the co-editor of two books: Teacher Quality (Hoover Institution Press and Pacific Research Institute, 2002) and School Reform: The Critical Issues (Hoover Institution Press and Pacific Research Institute, 2001). Prior to going into the think-tank world, Mr. Izumi served as chief speechwriter and director of writing and research for California Governor George Deukmejian. He also served in the administration of President Ronald Reagan as speechwriter to United States Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Mr. Izumi served as an officer, holding the rank of captain, in the California State Military Reserve. During his service, Mr. Izumi was awarded the commendation medal and the achievement ribbon. Mr. Izumi received his juris doctorate from the University of Southern California School of Law and his master of arts in political science from the University of California at Davis. He received his bachelor of arts in economics and history from the University of California at Los Angeles.