Vicki Alger Archive

Vicki E, 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. She is the author of the Independent book, Failure: The Federal Misedukation of America’s Children.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Want a Choice Not an Echo in Education? Then Keep the Feds Out



A provision of the recent House GOP tax plan would allow parents to use up to $10,000 of their 529 college savings plans for K-12 expenses including private school tuition. Parental choice in education is a bedrock Republican principle, and President Trump along with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are leading advocates. Yet even if...
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Why Subsidize the U.S. Department of Education When We Could Be Funding ESAs Ourselves?



Last month marked the 38th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Department of Education. Proponents insisted that elevating the Office of Education to a Cabinet-level department would improve federal education spending efficiency as well as student achievement. Opponents countered that there is scant (if any) evidence that increasing federal control over education would...
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Enabling California K-12 Students to Thrive through Education Savings Accounts



California is an innovation leader in lots of areas except one: K-12 education. Enacting education savings accounts (ESAs) would help. As I detail in a new policy report, California’s public-school system, which largely rations education based on where a child’s parents can afford to live, is a relic of a bygone era. Such a...
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Compounding California’s Student Preparation Problem



California State University officials want more undergraduates to earn their degrees and do so more quickly. Yet their “solution” could compound the more fundamental problem that too many students are graduating without being prepared. CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White issued an executive order last month that changes policies affecting entering freshmen’s knowledge assessments and...
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$13 Billion in the School Supplies “Poorhouse”



This summer Tulsa Public Schools third-grade teacher Teresa Danks made national headlines when she decided to panhandle for school supplies. Sick of spending as much as $2,000 of her $35,000 salary each year on the school supplies her classes needed, Danks decided to beg for supplies instead. Dubbed the “Panhandling Teacher,” Danks received over...
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Illinois Passes Its First, Country’s 18th, Tax-Credit Scholarship Program



This week the Illinois legislature passed legislation creating the country’s 18th tax-credit scholarship program, and the bill is on its way to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who’s said he’ll sign it. UPDATE: Gov. Rauner signed the bill (see here). Officially called the Invest in Kids Act, Illinois’ flagship tax-credit scholarship program was passed as part...
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Localize, Don’t Federalize, Educational Choice



Parental choice in education has many advantages, as we see in the growing majority of states with choice programs. Yet using the federal government to expand educational choice is risky, as The Heritage Foundation’s Linsdey Burke, The Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey, and I explain in our Washington Post editorial. The Trump administration has made clear that it wants to...
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Parental Choice Smear Campaign Falls Flat



Opponents of parental choice in education have been in overdrive portraying private school scholarships (and by association, those who support or use them) as racist to diminish their popularity. Results from a new national poll suggest opponents’ strategy isn’t working. According to the 11th annual Education Next  poll public support for a variety of private...
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The School Choice Deplorables



Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of the right of parents to choose their children’s schools? Then you’re a school choice deplorable. At least, that’s what some school choice opponents want us to believe. It’s no secret that President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are long-time school choice supporters....
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Forgive and Forget Won’t Fix College Debt



“Free” college and loan forgiveness are increasingly popular ideas. According to a recent AOL News poll, for example, 49 percent of respondents believe every state should offer free four-year public college tuition. Another poll by MoneyTips.com found that nearly 42 percent of respondents favored forgiving all student loan debt. Such results are understandable. After...
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