Capistrano Unified Is Cinematic Posterchild For Dysfunctional Schools [Updated]

Hey, look! The fresh faces you normally see at the average Capistrano Unified School District board meeting have been picked up and plopped into a professional-looking documentary trailer:

NOT AS GOOD AS YOU THINK - Official Trailer from Lucas Abel on Vimeo.

The movie, sponsored by the pro-"school choice" Pacific Research Institute, chronicles the "Myth of the Middle Class School" -- the idea that by living in affluent areas, your kids are guaranteed an at-or-above-par public education. To make their point, the film makers went to richie-rich south OC and interviewed the parents behind the Capistrano Unified "recall" movement, which has been extensively chronicled by the Weekly.

Even in the trailer's two-minute run-time, we get a good blast of nostalgic drama imported from the James Fleming CUSD era, with the now-indicted superintendent's "enemies list" appearing sinister indeed. Capo parents featured in the film include Lynn Baydu, Jennifer and Tony Beall, Barbara Casserly, Donna Furnis, Jim Reardon, Theresa and Tom Russell, and trustee Mike Winsten. We also get some shots of local schools, including my alma mater (full disclosure!) Dana Hills High. I'd like to note that the pic they used was of the run-down area behind Dana Hills' weight room, which is disgusting and scary but probably has always been and will always be that way.

As for anyone skeptical of the recall movement, thinking it's just a front for the advancement of private school interests: This film might not assuage your fears, given that it's pro "choice" -- which includes, yes, vouchers. But it does tout the Swedish system of education, so it can't be all bad for hard-core evil socialist liberals.

Anyways, Not As Good As You Think makes its SoCal debut tomorrow, May 20, at the St. Regis in Dana Point.  Cocktail gala at 6 p.m., movie at 7 p.m., Q&A with the director, producer and recall rep at 8 p.m. RSVP online here.

[7 p.m. update: Jonathan Voltzke at the Capistrano Dispatch blogs the news that space in the premier screening has filled up. The movie's overbooked email says, "We apologize for any convenience this may have caused you or your guests." On top of the convenience you save by not going, there will be DVDs available to view in a few weeks.]


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >