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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

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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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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