Vicki Alger Archive

Common Core: Raising the Bar-barians



“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards earlier this month. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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Stagnation Nation? High School Seniors’ Results on Nation’s Report Card Didn’t Budge



The U.S. Department of Education recently released grade 12 results in reading and math from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. In a nutshell, performance stayed largely unchanged from the 2009 assessment. What’s more, experts worry that students are graduating largely unprepared for college or...
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This Memorial Day Honor Vets with Education Savings Accounts



President Obama has vowed to fix the intolerable mismanagement of Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital, which resulted in dozens of deaths and reports of patients put on secret waiting lists for care. Thankfully Arizona is not waiting around to do the right thing for veterans and their families—and neither should any other state. On April...
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Los Angeles County Board of Education Blocks LAUSD “Blackmail” of Charter Schools



In February the Los Angeles Unified School District board revoked the charters of Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy—not because they didn’t perform, but because they did at a fraction of the cost. LAUSD officials revoked the charters of these two top performing, high poverty schools enrolling 770 (mostly...
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Common Core Makes Simple Math as Complicated as the Tax Code



Those of us recovering from tax day should be more than ready to answer a simple subtraction problem: What’s 427 – 316? If you mastered elementary math sometime before the onset of Common Core national standards and after “new math” had fallen out of fashion, then you can solve this problem in about three...
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Universal Government Preschool: Nilla Wafer Wishes and Juice Box Dreams



Earlier this month President Obama released his behemoth education budget, complete with $75 billion in mandatory funding over the next decade for universal government preschool programs. This should come as no surprise. Obama has made universal preschool a cornerstone issue, and supporters in the press have been spilling lots of ink, largely because there’s...
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Lessons from a German Homeschooling Family about the Nanny State



The saga of a German homeschooling family represents a needed refresher course about the true origins of our fundamental rights. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, along with their seven children, were on track to be deported from the United States. What was their high crime and misdemeanor? Drug trafficking? Gun running? Cybercrime? No—it was homeschooling....
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State of the Union 2014: More Preschool Politics?



Pundits are predicting that President Obama will try to recycle last year’s universal, government-run preschool plan in tonight’s State of the Union address. The Los Angeles Times’ Kathleen Hennessey, for example, isn’t jazzed: Little of what the president proposes in his most high-profile speech of the year is likely to get done, at least...
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Conscripting Four-Year Olds: California’s Latest Preschool Plan



From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to President Obama, Washington politicians are scrambling to get their hands on other people’s toddlers. But they’re not alone. Back in 2010 California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. Basically, every year since 2012-13 children must celebrate their fifth birthday sooner and...
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Retiring Teacher Seniority in California?



California is legendary for its protection of unionized teachers. But if a new measure makes it onto the November ballot, voters would decide whether California teachers would have to bank on more than seniority to keep their jobs. Matt David of StudentsFirst submitted the measure to the Secretary of State last month, where it’s awaiting...
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