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

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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More States Abandoning the Sinking Common Core Ship



“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards several weeks ago. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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Common Core: Raising the Bar-barians



“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards earlier this month. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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Stagnation Nation? High School Seniors’ Results on Nation’s Report Card Didn’t Budge



The U.S. Department of Education recently released grade 12 results in reading and math from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. In a nutshell, performance stayed largely unchanged from the 2009 assessment. What’s more, experts worry that students are graduating largely unprepared for college or...
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This Memorial Day Honor Vets with Education Savings Accounts



President Obama has vowed to fix the intolerable mismanagement of Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital, which resulted in dozens of deaths and reports of patients put on secret waiting lists for care. Thankfully Arizona is not waiting around to do the right thing for veterans and their families—and neither should any other state. On April...
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Los Angeles County Board of Education Blocks LAUSD “Blackmail” of Charter Schools



In February the Los Angeles Unified School District board revoked the charters of Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy—not because they didn’t perform, but because they did at a fraction of the cost. LAUSD officials revoked the charters of these two top performing, high poverty schools enrolling 770 (mostly...
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