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

Oklahoma: Losing Federal Waiver, Winning Back Rightful Control over Education



By this school year all American students were supposed to be proficient in reading and math according to the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the latest iteration of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). By 2011 it was clear that no state was even close, so the US Department of...
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A Riverside High School Thinks Dumpster Diving is a Needed Life Skill for Special Education Students



Apparently dumpster diving is an important life skill for special education students, at least according to some officials at Jurupa Unified School District in Riverside County. Last week news reports surfaced that special education students at Patriot High School were searching through campus trash cans for recyclables that could be turned into cash as...
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Competing for Students, Not Federal Funding, Is Still the Best Preschool Policy



Washington, DC, is not exactly known for being on the cutting edge of innovation—especially when it comes to competition in education. Nearly three years ago the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (AFC) made headlines for its “controversial” plan requiring Head Start preschool providers to compete for renewed federal...
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Chicago Teachers Union Boss and Classic Champagne Socialism



It’s a busy time of year for Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis. Two years ago just in time for Labor Day, she was helping organize the city’s first teachers’ strike in more than 25 years—a move that was highlighted at the Midwest Marxist Conference. Last year she was busy blaming the Chicago Public...
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Parental Choice, Not Common Core, Is the Key to Academic Accountability



The more the public learns, the less it likes Common Core national standards, based on findings from various polls throughout this year. Two new national polls add even more fuel to the anti-Common Core fire. The first by Gallup and PDK International notes that last year only around one-third (34 percent) of American adults...
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Prize-winning Mathematician Says Common Core Math Doesn’t Add Up



Last fall Marina Ratner was helping her grandson with his sixth grade math homework. His Berkeley middle school had just implemented Common Core, which had been touted as rigorous college- and career-ready standards that are internationally benchmarked to standards from top performing countries. According to Ms. Ratner, her grandson’s middle-school math class spent so...
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California Lawmakers Mandate Students Study about Obama



You know your presidential popularity must be tanking when a state legislature has to pass a mandate requiring students to study about you in school. Recently the California State Legislature passed a new law (AB 1912) requiring the Instructional Quality Commission, which helps oversee the state’s Common Core standards, to consider revising the social...
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Gov. Brown Invokes Religion to Open the Border, but Path to Faith-based Schools Remains Closed



Earlier this week Gov. Jerry Brown was in Mexico City “urging politicians ... to ‘heed the religious call ... to welcome the stranger’ in addressing the [immigration] crisis,” according to the Sacramento Bee. Gov. Brown continued by saying: These are children, and many of them have relatives that are in California and other parts...
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Ban Government—Not Sweets—in Schools to Combat Bureaucratic Obesity



In recent weeks states have been grappling with a host of unintended consequences stemming from new USDA regulations affecting food and beverages available in schools. Chocolate milk was a near casualty in Connecticut. Earlier this month one Washington state school district threw in the towel and banned birthday cupcakes in classrooms. Instead of baked...
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Are Lawsuits Ending or Mending Teacher Tenure?



Last month Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu handed down a landmark decision in Vergara v. California. A group of student plaintiffs supported by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur argued that state tenure laws violated the State Constitution, kept bad teachers on the job, and deprived them of a quality education. A similar...
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