LA is a city/metro/county area of hundreds if not 1000's of square miles.
An hours drive from any point still covers an enormous geographical area and not all areas have equally good schools even if they are in the same school district.
I have twins who graduated from public high school in 2010. From kindergarten to HS graduation they attended schools in two different school districts that were vastly different in their resources and issues.
You need to know at least what general area you're interested in.
There are a TON of great schools within an hour drive to L.A., start with what your budget is for a home, size, proximity to the beach & other amenities you'd like to have in a home, see where homes / neighborhoods like that are located & then go to the Great Schools website & research from there.
If you'd like to search around in the MLS just like I do, please go to my web link below.
Realtor Since 1996