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

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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Distorted Education Attack Ads Hide the Facts



Political campaigns across the country are heating up—thanks in no small part to all the hot air surrounding accusations about alleged “cuts” to education funding. As I explain in a recent USA Today column: In North Carolina, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has been savaging her opponent, Republican N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, for allegedly cutting $500 million from...
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Georgia’s Ivory Tower Behavior Modification-istas



This month a campus-wide smoking ban is supposed to take effect at the University of Georgia. Students objected that the ban was not passed with adequate student or faculty input and planned to protest with a “smoke-in.” Reasonable people can agree that smoking is not healthy—but forcing smokers to quit is a “cure” that’s...
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Coming Soon to California: Teachers’ Right to Work?



Big changes could be in the works for the California Teachers Association (CTA), the state affiliate of the country’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA). The CTA claims it has 325,000 members. How many of them are voluntary dues-paying members is anybody’s guess. In the past the CTA has demolished “paycheck protection”...
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Common Core Called the “Obamacare of Education”



US Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) makes a compelling case for abolishing Common Core in a recent letter. As Newsmax reports: “As a U.S. Senator, I’ve seen the federal government make a mess of everything it touches,” the Utah Republican wrote in the email sent out Monday morning. “And if they’re allowed to stay, Common...
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