Parents know how important good schools are when they are deciding where to buy a new house. That’s why they are willing to stretch their budget for a home near a “good” school. But they should not be fooled by the tree-lined streets and expensive real estate – the neighborhood schools may not be as good as they think, according to the findings in Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice. The book takes readers on a driving tour of some of California’s best neighborhoods and supposedly some of its best schools. Many parents have found out the hard way that despite what they have been told about their neighborhood schools, many of these students are not performing at grade level, let alone ready for college.
Lance T. Izumi is the Senior Fellow in California Studies and Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI), California’s premier free-market public policy think tank in San Francisco. He is the author of several major PRI studies, including “Putting Education to the Test: A Value-Added Model for California” (2004), the “California Education Report Card: Index of Leading Education Indicators” (1997, 2000 and 2003 editions), “Developing and Implementing Academic Standards” (1999), “Facing the Classroom Challenge: Teacher Quality and Teacher Training in California’s Schools of Education” (2001), and “They Have Overcome: High-Poverty, High-Performing Schools in California” (2002).
Vicki E. Murray is Senior Policy Fellow, Education Studies, at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI). Dr. Murray is the former director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Educational Opportunity in Phoenix, Arizona, and the author of more than a dozen education policy studies.
Rachel S. Chaney is a Senior Fellow in Education studies at the Pacific Research Institute. She is currently a doctoral student in American history at the University of California at Davis. She graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University in American history and earned her Masters degree in Chinese history from Stanford University. After completion of her masters’ she taught high school in East Oakland, California for two years before coming to PRI.
What They Are Saying:
“Many parents across the country have found out the hard way that the quality of public schools in the more affluent neighborhoods is often not what it’s cracked up to be. This book by PRI reveals that the supposedly “good’ schools that these students attend are producing surprising – and often bad – results. Armed with the knowledge their schools are coming up short, middle-class parents must take action and start demanding school choice options in their communities.” – William J. Bennet, author of America: The Last Best Hope and Fellow at The Claremont Institute
“This book confronts the depth of the challenge confronting public education, in California and across the country, and makes it more difficult for the apologists of the status quo to continue to defend mediocrity. It helps sow the seeds of what can become a much-needed American education revolution.” – Eugene Hickok, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush’s first term
“Not As Good As You Think exposes the dirty secret underlying American public schooling; even the best public schools aren’t very good. Our nation’s universities are the world’s envy; our K-12 public schools are a world embarassment. This book cogently tells the true story and points a clear direction toward greater choice and competition that is urgently needed for America to remain the most prosperous nation.” – Clint Bolick, Director of Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution