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tv   Vicki Alger Failure  CSPAN  August 11, 2018 3:21pm-3:30pm EDT

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that's what they are called teenagers for the should we accept that as a society? is that really the best we can do to tell our children to be more responsible than the other that is serving their community?>> watch afterwords on book tv. >> joining us is vicki alger. her book, "failure: the federal miseducation of america's children" came out in 2016. is it any better today than it was in 2016 when you wrote your book in your view? >> sadly, no. test scores haven't gone up. common core has been fully entrenched and we didn't see improvements. so things aren't getting better but there is on the positive side, what we are seeing is advances in parental choice programs. which is how parents oversee
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their child's education. that's the silver lining here. >> have we seen any changes in the federal department of education?>> we have been some of the modes have been pretty controversial. for example, streamlining a lot of the employees. most recently, president trump unveiled a plan to combine the department of educationwith the department of labor . so we would have a department of education and workforce. the thinking is we will prepare 21st-century workforce. so that's in the works. see what comes of it. that's a tough pill to climb i suspect. >> was your view on betsy divorce? >> i think she's been a fantastic advocate for parental rights in education. she's lifted herself she's raise millions of dollars. i think as her position as
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secretary of education, she's gone a lot of criticism but i think a good bit of it is not well deserved. she's there to do a job and is hires to be part of administration. i think some of the criticism stems from the fact people really want the restoration of local and parental control and education. so we are hoping every student succeeds act would be enrolled much farther back so states would have to beg for more flexibility and money. i think some of the criticism, wanting to see a lot more restoration of local control more quickly. >> is there a need for a federal department of education in your view? >> no. bottom line for me.there are three programs i would keep. the first is the opportunity scholarship program. it's a voucher program that's been in existence for over 10 years and is having marvelous results for children were
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trapped in schools that are not working for them. that's privately managed and they report to congress. there's no need for a department of education. anything dealing with veterans to be had dealt with by veterans affairs. basically, everythingelse , the civil rights.office of civil rights, i think we should move that to the department of justice that has a constitutional basis. everything else, give back to the states and taxpayers. >> you've talked about local control and the states and you talk about that in miseducation. is there a need for public education in general? taxpayer supported public education. >> i would say the greatest need is an educated public and i think we have to stop fixating so much on where children are going to school and instead focus on whether there being educated. i think the argument that really gave rise to the system we have today is a legitimate
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concern for what happens to children from disadvantaged families can't afford the education that is right for them. there's a way to meet that need without involving the government and getting all the politics and thedownside of government involvement . >> how do you do that? >> the way we did at the beginning of the republic. americans are some of the most generous people on earth. private philanthropies, civic and faith-based communities. there are a number of ways the private sector can handle this without government involvement in the past gave rise to the notion that just because we fund schools through government, doesn't mean that government knows best for people's children. i think what we've seen today with over 100 years of our current schooling system, it's become really the playground for partisan political and special interests. i think parents and the public have really had enough. the more we can put parents in control, let private
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philanthropy and other organizations help. whether it's a true financial need. we will see that minimized. >> what is the independence institute? >> is headquartered in oakland, california and we stand for peaceful prosper solutions and individual rights. >> is it a libertarian based? >> we are nonpartisan but limited government. so we would fall under the terry inside. >> are vouchers working in your view? >> i think the more options, the better. there's a range of options which thank goodness there are a range. my preference personally and policy wise is expanding options that have the least involvement of government. less susceptible to politicization and government
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control be my favorite would be education savings accounts. my home state of arizona would leave it to the state to and not those. we are seeing improvement in that policy design from some of the proposals that have been made in other states. specifically, i like the idea of a tax credit or refinance education savings account. because that way, parents have more options. education providers don't come under the purview of government in various testing mandates. when you start having government regulation, that's when providers start looking like the other providers. so we want to have a real choice. >> how did you get into the study of education? >> actually, i went to school and got my degree to be a college professor.
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that's what i started doing is teaching college courses. as i finish my dissertation, i am from arizona. in the wee hours i was up and i noticed my think tank at home was the goldwater institute. i saw this opening for a policy director. i saw the requirements and i said i think i can do that in two weeks later i was hired in my career path took a very different direction . i'm really glad it did. >> should there be national education standards of any kind? why or why not? >> i don't think there should be government standards. i like the idea for example, i started teaching in the english department. why do we have politicians deciding what children or undergraduates should be reading? that should be decided by the people who work day in and day out in the field. so you can have best practices perhaps. but we need all our of provider
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so we don't get a one-size-fits-all.when things get so politicized. have a lot of options for students and really truly the best practices will rise to the top. >> the same expense more per capita per student than any other country. >> we are in the top five. some countries spend a few hundred dollars more. >> in your view, where is that money well spent? >> i think first and foremost, it should go to great teachers. not only know their subjects well but teach it well. just because you know a subject, doesn't mean you can teach a subject well. not just teacher salaries but in hard-core professional development. beginning teachers need. i think that's where the money is well spent.
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let the teachers be the true professionals they really want to be. the downside is we have to - - i think investing and great teacher education.make it very competitive the way the top-performing countries do it . that's where we can really invest. all of the other bells and whistles are add-ons. if you don't have great teachers, with the question why we're doing what were doing. >> vicki alger's book miseducation came out in 2016. this is a quick update. if you'd like to see the full - - you can go to booktv@cspan.org. ...

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