Vicki Alger Archive

Vicki Alger is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Senior Fellow and Director of the Women for School Choice Project at the Independent Women’s Forum.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Milton Friedman on “Free” College



Sixty years ago Milton Friedman made the case in “The Role of Government in Education” that since individuals reap the benefits of college degrees, whether personally, professionally, or both, they should pay for them. By 1979 Friedman noted that higher education subsidies had become such an Ivory Tower boondoggle, higher education should be taxed to…
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National School Choice Week Starts Today!



This week more than 11,000 events will be held nationwide in celebration of school choice. Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing January 25-30, 2015, as National School Choice Week to help improve awareness of the benefits of greater opportunities in education. More than 100 governors, mayors,…
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Common Core Boosters Trying to Scare States into Keeping National Standards



Last year wasn’t a good year for Common Core, and the myth-makers are already hard at work publishing some new spin, but first let’s review what we’ve learned over the past five years. Common Core national standards are: Costly (here, here, and here) Weak (here and here) Intrusive (here) Politicized (here) Anything but “voluntary”…
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Constitutional Federalism Beats Feds’ Bribery of the States



Almost five years ago the final Common Core national standards were published. These national standards epitomize government that has grown beyond all constitutional bounds. As elected officials learned more about the “voluntary” standards, the less they liked, and efforts to reverse course are underway in the states as well as Congress. Certainly, federal overreach…
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Student Debt and Default Explode While U.S. Department of Education Fiddles



A new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) examined what steps it had taken from fiscal years 2011 through 2014 to improve student debt and loan repayment rates. In a nutshell, a big fat nothing—and taxpayers will be stuck paying off tens of billions in bad loans as…
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Reauthorized Child Care Block Grant: Another Brick in the Wall for Big Government



Access to high-quality child care is an important consideration for many American families and parents—especially those struggling to make ends meet. Last month the Senate passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG), approved by the House back in September. President Obama signed the bill on November 19. The bill…
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Raising Arizona: Voters Agree with Incoming Superintendent Diane Douglas that Parents, Not the State, Are Primary in Education



It’s true: Arizona’s incoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas did run on a single issue—and to a majority of voters, it was the only education issue that mattered: children are not creatures of the state. First, some background. Douglas made national headlines for her unwavering opposition to Common Core national standards. Her opponent,…
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Students Won’t Be Collateral Damage in California Big Spenders’ Showdown



There’s a showdown brewing in California’s not-so-OK Corral—make that the UC Corral—and students are fed up with being the ones caught in the crossfire. It started back in 2012 when Gov. Jerry Brown threatened to slash state funding for California’s ten University of California campuses unless his Proposition 30  (also known as the “Millionaire’s Tax”)…
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NYC’s Success Academy Charter Schools Are Beating the Odds . . . and Powerful Unions



It’s no secret that labor union rules impose significant burdens on schools. More than a decade ago Lance Izumi oversaw a rigorous study that examined the impact of 25 years of collective bargaining on the effectiveness of California public schools. It found that rigid union rules put California schools and classrooms in a stranglehold…
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Obama’s Undisciplined School Discipline Reforms



Keeping kids safe at school should go hand in hand with ensuring high-quality academics. The U.S. Department of Education’s record on both fronts has been poor at best. During the No Child Left Behind era of George W. Bush, parents were supposed to have an Unsafe School Choice Option. Partisan politics and perverse incentives…
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