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Research Fellow


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Vicki E. Alger
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Vicki E. (Murray) 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 currently working on a book for the Independent Institute examining the 30-year history of the U.S. Department of Education.

She has been Associate Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in Sacramento, California, and the Director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Educational Opportunity in Phoenix, Arizona. She received her Ph.D. in political philosophy from the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas, where she was an Earhart Foundation Fellow, and she has lectured at universities nationwide, including the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.

Dr. Alger’s research focuses on education reform measures to improve academic accountability at all levels, promote a competitive education climate, and increase parents’ control over their children’s education. She is the author of more than 30 education policy studies, co-author of Short-Circuited: The Challenges Facing the Online Learning Revolution in California and Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice, as well as Associate Producer of the documentary “Not as Good as You Think: Myth of the Middle Class School.” Dr. Alger has advised the U.S. Department of Education on public school choice and higher education reform. She has also advised education policy makers in nearly forty states and England, provided expert testimony before state legislative education committees, and served on two national accountability task forces. Dr. Alger’s research helped advance four parental choice voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs in Arizona in 2006, as well as the state’s first higher education voucher, and she provided expert affidavits as part of the successful legal defense of educational choice programs for low-income, foster-care, and disabled children since 2007.

In 2008, Dr. Alger’s research inspired the introduction of the most school choice bills in California history—five in all—and her research was used as part of the successful legal defense of the country’s first tax-credit scholarship program in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 (Garriott v. Winn Arizona). Dr. Alger’s research and commentary on education policy have been widely published and cited in leading public-policy outlets such as Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, Education Week and the Chronicle of Higher Education, in addition to national news media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, Fortune, Human Events, La Opinión, and the Los Angeles Times. She has also appeared on the Fox News Channel, local ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS affiliates, as well as news radio programs across the country.

Video
Vicki Alger on a Cyber School Education July 20, 2011
Vicki Alger on the Cost of College Dropouts October 18, 2010

Audio
How Rising College Costs Hurt Families and Society December 24, 2012

Commentary
Nanny State Lessons from a German Homeschooling Family May 15, 2014
Education Improves When Parents Can Bypass Clueless Bureaucrats February 24, 2014
Rotten to the Core December 18, 2013
The Southern Education Foundation’s Bogus School Lunch Study November 18, 2013
Obama’s College Affordability Scheme Gets an ‘F’ September 10, 2013
[View All Commentary Articles (12)]
Beacon Blog Posts
Common Core: Raising the Bar-barians May 26, 2014
Stagnation Nation? High School Seniors’ Results on Nation’s Report Card Didn’t Budge May 26, 2014
This Memorial Day Honor Vets with Education Savings Accounts May 26, 2014
[View All (53)]



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