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

Parents Lack Actionable Information about Their Children’s Academic Performance



Twenty-first century technological advances have put a wealth of information right at our fingertips—except, it seems, when it comes to our children’s academic performance. Nine out of 10 parents of K-8 students believe their children are performing at or above grade level in reading and math, yet only one-third of eighth graders perform at...
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What Would the Iron Lady Do with the U.S. Department of Education?



Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently delivered an address at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council in Denver, Colorado. In her remarks DeVos insisted that “education is best-addressed at the state, local and family levels” and recalled some words of wisdom from Lady Margaret Thatcher, who served as the United Kingdom’s...
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College: Investment in the American Dream or an Escape from Reality?



These days it seems college is about everything but higher learning. Undergraduates enrolled in a Global Politics of Human Rights course at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, for example, were allowed to stage a protest for their final assignment. “The focus,” according to the initial report by the Arizona Republic, “was opposition to many of...
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The Real Educational Choice Debate Isn’t About Money. It’s About Government Control



Last week I had the pleasure of speaking about the future of school choice at an event hosted in Washington, DC, by the Independent Women’s Forum, featuring The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke and SAVE President Edward Bartlett. The core issue of this public policy debate is not about money. It’s about competing visions over...
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Try Parental Choice to Reverse Poor Global Rankings



By the year 2000, American “students must be first in the world in math and science achievement.” That’s what President George H. W. Bush insisted in his 1990 State of the Union address. Two leading international exams confirm we’re still not even close. Results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) show...
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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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