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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

Does Pell Propel College Graduates?



Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office projected a $7.8 billion temporary surplus for the federal Pell Grant program next year—and some members of Congress can’t wait to spend it on year-round disbursements, which were eliminated in 2011 but recently revived in the Senate. (See here and here also). The concept has enjoyed bi-partisan...
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Even When School Choice Works, Critics Call It a Failure



Thomas Paine recommended vouchers to help parents afford private schools for their children more than 200 years ago. While most college students today use vouchers to attend public or private colleges and universities, the concept remains needlessly controversial when it comes to parents using them for their school-age children. For example, in a recent Washington...
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A Glimpse into the College Entitlement Mentality



Should a college education be a handout or something earned? A recent feature in The New Yorker Magazine provides a sobering glimpse of things to come if advocates of “free college” get their way. In his feature article “The Big Uneasy,” author Nathan Heller interviewed several Oberlin College students who demanded, among other things,...
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Have a Student Loan Question? Take a Number and Wait in Line



“[E]rrors and poor customer service.” That’s how the federal government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, summed up the US Department of Education’s handling of $96 billion in federal higher education loans affecting more than 9 million student borrowers. So much for the improved service and efficiency we were promised more than 30 years ago...
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School May Be Out, but the Criticism of Common Core Isn’t Taking a Vacation



As the school year was winding down, results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, showed flat reading performance, and a decline in math performance among high school seniors compared to their pre-Common Core predecessors. So much for college-readiness. “Worrisome” and “stalled” were just...
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Don’t Blame “Underfunding” for Soaring College Prices



Death, taxes, and rising college prices – these are among life’s few certainties. A new study helps shed light on the latter. As the Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports: Using Department of Education data, Seton Hall University professor Robert Kelchen found that inflation-adjusted fees grew faster than tuition at state schools between the 1999-2000 and 2012-2013...
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Califor-ni-ED May Be Coming to a Classroom Near You



One export I’d like from California is its pre-Common Core math standards, hailed as the country’s finest. Instead, we’re likely going to get some horrific version of its pending K-12 history and social “science” framework—or as the Hoover Institution’s Bill Evers calls it, Progressive “goo-goo reform.” Whether or not we live in California, we need to...
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Which States Get the Biggest Piece of the Federal Education Funding Pie?



Now that school is out, there’s time to do some much-needed housekeeping, including a review of states’ shares of federal education funding. Education expert Richard Innes, an analyst at Kentucky’s Bluegrass Institute, used Census data to see which states get the highest shares. Turns out, a handful of taker states should be writing thank...
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Parental Choice, Not Compulsory Preschool, Is “The Way of the Future”



New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claims that compulsory preschool is “the way of the future.” Along with Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, de Blasio claims universal, public preschool will improve high school graduation rates, as well as college and job preparation. The ineffectiveness of the largest and longest-running...
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Expanding the Schooling Monopoly One Toddler at a Time



Universal preschool is (again) making headlines as a cure for what ails us. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is the latest in a long line of politicians claiming universal, government-run preschool will improve high school graduation rates, as well as college and job preparation. A few years back House Minority Leader Nancy...
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