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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

Fed ED Flunks



One of the leading claims proponents made for establishing a US Department of Education was that state and local citizens simply couldn’t be trusted with education. What proponents leave out, of course, is any rational explanation why DC bureaucrats know better than we hoi polloi taxpayers and parents. A recent column by Santa Clara...
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Parental Choice: A Better Way to Fulfill the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education



This month marks the 62nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Oliver Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which struck down the notion of “separate but equal” public schooling for black students. In spite of the civil rights advances we’ve realized over the past several decades, equal educational opportunities...
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The Latest Innovation in Education: Empowering Parents



When it comes to education reform, fads abound but genuine innovation is rare. Fads masquerading as “innovations” have been wreaking havoc on American elementary and secondary education for decades, including new math, open classrooms, whole language, and Differentiated Instruction, which groups children by their “learning styles.” The latest fad is psychometric testing, which collects...
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Fed ED: Boon or Boondoggle for Teachers?



It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week, but many teachers don’t feel all that appreciated. According to a recent US Department of Education survey, teachers’ perceptions about how much autonomy they have in the classroom has steadily declined since 2003—which corresponds with increasingly intrusive federal education mandates over testing, standards, and curriculum. In particular, opposition to...
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California Charter School Breaks Away from District



In spite of opposition from some members of the Ross Valley School District (RVSD), the California State Board of Education (CBOE) unanimously approved the transformation of an alternative education program into the Ross Valley Charter School. As the Heartland Institute’s School Reform News reporter Ashley Bateman recently wrote: Vicki Alger, a research fellow with...
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Fear and Trembling in Phoenix: A Common Core Cautionary Tale, Part I



Arizona is widely hailed as the national leader in school choice. It is also one of a growing number of states turning against Common Core. But you wouldn’t know it from what’s going on inside the Capitol these days. Proposed legislation affirming parents’ basic rights over their children’s education is being held or amended...
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Reflections on National School Choice Week



Last week was National School Choice Week, with more than 16,000 events from coast to coast shining a spotlight on effective education options for students. Today, parental choice in education encompasses a variety of education options: Eight states and the District of Columbia allow parents to enroll their children in any public school they...
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Parental Choice Is a Better Path to Student Proficiency



Today Education Week released its annual “Quality Counts” report. This is one of the main annual spending rankings used to justify more money for public education. However, spending proponents never seem to tell us just how much more we’ll need to spend for students to be proficient in the basics. Of course it costs...
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Education Results, Not Spending Rankings, Count Most



Tomorrow marks one of education’s most important  rituals: the annual release of Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report, which grades states on several criteria including spending. If history is any indication, howls about “underfunded” public education are sure to follow. In fact, by my tally at least a dozen states all claimed to be 49th...
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U.S. Department Flunks Data Security ... Again



Earlier this week the full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform blasted the U.S. Department of Education for its lax security surrounding student data. But this isn’t the first time ED’s been taken to the woodshed. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in 2011 that ED still hadn’t implemented security controls recommend in...
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