New PRI Book Explores The Great Classroom Collapse Leaving Students Unprepared for College and the Workforce

Book Profiles Parents, Students, Teachers, and Policymakers Who Are Fighting to Change America’s Schools for the Better

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — With student test scores showing that the academic performance of America’s school children in the basic subjects are at record lows, the nonpartisan Pacific Research Institute today released The Great Classroom Collapse — a new book investigating the implosion of rigor and learning in schools nationwide and profiling courageous individuals who are fighting to change things so every student is prepared for college and the workforce.

The Great Classroom Collapse is available now for purchase at or your favorite online bookseller.

Watch a short video of Izumi discussing the book here.

Lance Izumi, senior director of PRI’s Center for Education and the book’s author, asks in the book’s introduction, “why are students around the country achieving at such low levels in core subjects such as reading and math?”

“Those reasons,” he writes, “range from schools prioritizing equity and social justice concerns over equality of opportunity and meritocracy; to teaching methods and curricula unsupported by empirical evidence; to teacher training programs that fail to instruct prospective teachers on what really improves student learning; and to bureaucratic adherence to failed education programs.”

The Great Classroom Collapse profiles students, parents, K-12 teachers and tutors, college instructors, and policymakers who are experiencing the collapse of learning in America’s classrooms and who are fighting to change things for the better. Among those profiled in the book are:

  • A mom who grew up in the tiny West African nation of Sierra Leone and who has fought against the efforts of her school district to decrease the rigor in her children’s school in the name of equity;

  • A mom and former teacher who reveals the deficiency of her teacher education and the tragic consequences for her students;

  • A top engineer at the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has fought against the failed reading and math curricula at his children’s school; and

  • A California state legislator, the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, who is pushing to ensure that children receive the foundational reading skills they need to succeed.

Through personal stories and data analysis, The Great Classroom Collapse details the battles and shifts going on in schools across the nation.

“In too many places in America,” Izumi writes, “learning in the classroom has collapsed, but it can be improved so that our children have a greater opportunity for a successful future.”

The Pacific Research Institute ( champions freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility by advancing free-market policy ideas. Follow PRI on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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SOURCE Pacific Research Institute