Archive for the ‘education’ Category

I have a headache and the airplane I’m in as I’m writing this has hit some turbulence, so forgive me for a short post. There are three links for this one. First, there’s the WND post, which is “Student Reprimanded for Saying ‘God Bless America.'”

There actually is no story. Nada. No description in the RSS feed, no three-paragraph snippet. Just a link to “Read the full story” which takes you to Fox “news” and an article by Todd Starnes: “Student Reprimanded for Saying ‘God Bless America.'” The Fox story has nearly 10,000 comments when I loaded it in the airport.

“Similarly,” the WND story has 53 comments when I last loaded it. The top-rated comment is by “daleetaylor” who wrote: “I wonder if we realize how close we are to a national collapse. The leaders of this nation are doing whatever they want and they could care less what the American people want. That is the sad truth. They LIE, LIE, LIE and LIE about their lying. We as a nation must pray to the only true God and repent or we will perish. That is the truth. God forgive us.”

Without even reading the story or anything else, my knee-jerk reaction is pretty much what “kim” said in response: “The american people don’t want god in the classroom. They decided 230 years ago and reaffirm that every election since. Maybe you should move to a theocracy.” “kim” was attacked, as expected.

But, the whole reason that I found this story and even clicked on it was because Hemant posted about it on his The Friendly Atheist blog: “Todd Starnes Flips Out After Student Told Not to Say “God Bless America” During Morning Announcements.”

Here’s the real story:

  1. Students at this school (Yulee High School in Florida) are allowed to read the morning announcements. Over the loudspeaker. To a captive audience. At that point, they legally become an agent of the school. More on that later.
  2. Students were adding “God Bless America” to the end of the announcements.
  3. Two students who are atheists, fearing reprisal, told their parents and the parents complained to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.
  4. The legal center wrote a letter to the school explaining the problem.
  5. The principal wrote back within hours saying that “the theistic assertion was not part of the scripted announcements but was added by a student without the school’s approval.” And, “The principal reassured the legal center, “It is our desire and intention to respect the belief and constitutional freedoms of all our students at Yulee High School.””

Enter Todd Starnes. Who “asked Jeremy Dys, an attorney with Liberty Institute to weigh in on this nonsense and he said the atheists don’t have a prayer:”

“Whether a student is being patriotic or engaging in religious speech, there is no law in this country forbidding a student from telling his or her classmates, ‘God bless America’ and it is illegal for a school to censor a student for doing so,” he said.

Dys also wonders why atheists are so hell-bent on trying to censor the patriotic speech of a red-blooded American high school student.

“Regardless of this attempt by secularists to white wash over this demonstration of patriotism by a teenager, America’s students do not give up their right to free speech and the expression of their religious beliefs when they go to school,” he said.

Here’s the issue: Students don’t give up their First Amendment rights to free speech when at school. They can tell fellow students anything they want about their religious beliefs or wear clothing that does – provided they do not create a hostile environment or interfere with learning – during school hours and on school property.

The issue goes to my first enumerated step in the story: They are giving this to a captive audience over the public address system as agents of the school. The school – and its agents – cannot advocate a religious belief. Therefore, the students saying “God Bless America” over the loudspeakers to a captive audience as part of the morning announcements is illegal.

Another part of the comments are people screaming about the “atheist students” and how they feared reprisal, and how they should have just come forward on their own. Um, this is high school. Do you really want to be even more of a pariah if, say, you’re the person already with few friends, and it’s the school’s prize quarterback who’s the one saying this in the announcements? Really?

And, I can personally relate: In my elementary school (grades 3-5), we were allowed, two at a time, for fifth graders, to go to the office in the morning and read the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeakers. Like good little minions, everyone in their homerooms would stand and recite it along with us.

I was fairly atheistic from a young age. I would say the pledge (I stopped in high school, for which I got bullied even by friends for not saying it when everyone else would during assemblies), but I would remain silent during the “under God” part. I was going to skip over it when I read it to the school. But even I, who already at that age didn’t have too many friends to lose anyway, chickened out and just read it as I was “supposed to.” Though because I didn’t chicken out until literally the word before it, I tripped up anyway and instead of a proud statement of church-state separation, I just was laughed at because I stumbled over several words in front of the entire school. The girl who did it with me (since it was boy-girl pairs) just shook her head, and the secretaries administrative staff looked at me with pity.

Sometimes school sucks. Trying to make a political, religious, or a-religious statement – even if you’re in the right – can make you a social pariah right at that age where you’re trying to figure out who you are, what your values are, and just fit in.


I had a 1700-word post all ready to go, and then WordPress decided to delete it. Sigh. Here’s my attempted reconstruction of this highly informative topic:

Federal research grants are important. They provide money for a huge range of scientific research that otherwise would not be done. We, as a society, have decided that they are good, though both the left and right and everyone in between may disagree about specific programs.

Because they are public, certain laws and regulations exist whereby the public gets to know what their tax money is going to. And, there exist many website that will let you search them. Here’s one that I have found useful because it links to the search forms for what looks like all federal research funding agencies.

What information is shown is somewhat variable, but in general, you will find: The funding agency, the PI (principle investigator), the PI’s institution, Co-Is (co-investigators), the date the funding starts, the date the funding ends, the amount of funding, and an abstract that describes the research that was provided within the proposal. You won’t find the actual proposal because it contains proprietary information — not only sometimes classified information, but also the ideas and methodology behind the proposal (so the team doesn’t get “scooped”), and even the layout and style of the proposal itself (trust me, there are many ways to write a proposal, and some of them are very effective, while others are very ineffective).

The problem with this information is that to a non-expert, and without any of the broader context of the many pages explaining what the proposal may do and the implications for it beyond the immediate research, the proposal easily looks like a waste of money to the average person. And, despite a tiny fraction of the federal budget going to research grants, various bloggers, reporters, and even congresspersons will often pull up a random title and claim that it’s an amazing example of government waste.

Such seems to have been the case with a Free Beacon article titled, “Feds Spent $532,000 Studying Gay Hookup Apps” with the subtitle, “NIH project studied ‘arousal’ of gay men when using Grindr.” The image is of two men, ostensibly gay, laying on each other and smiling.

The World Net Daily subtitle is the same, but they slightly modified the title: “Feds Spent $432,000 Studying ‘Gay’-Hookup Apps.” See, they added a hyphen and put “gay” in “quotes” because “gay” is scary and fake and a choice, because it’s WND.

There are three distinct problems here, and I don’t know if there’s a good solution to any of them: (1) There is no context, making it easy to complain; (2) titles of proposals are often whimsical; and (3) people don’t realize that less than half of the money goes to the actual researcher(s).

The first issue is that when we write grant proposals, we write them at a level where someone in our field or closely related field can understand them. When I write a crater-related proposal, I try to generalize the abstract to explain to a general person familiar with planetary geology what I plan to do and why. I then spend several pages within the proposal giving background information so that someone who models the interiors of planets would be able to understand why I want to do an observational study of impact craters.

I don’t write my abstract so that someone who has a 9-5 job working for a law firm, or working retail, or who works in Congress, would understand it. That would simply require “dumbing it down” too much. I don’t mean to imply that those people are dumb; rather, we have a very limited amount of space to explain why we want to do the research, how we’re going to do it, the broader implications, the proposal team, the management structure, and justify the budget. If we also had to write it at a level that anyone could understand it, we’d never be able to get into details.

Therefore, what makes it into the abstract that would be made public should I win the grant will rarely make sense to a general person just picking it up randomly.

Similarly, we often write titles to try to stand out to the review panels. Something fun and whimsical, for example, to make someone smile. For example, one might entitle a proposal, “Studying Martian ‘Holes in One.'”

A congressional staffer or random blogger may pick that up thinking, “Wow, why is NASA funding something about golf on Mars?” In reality, my proposal is about studying meter- and decameter scale craters in a broad statistical study to try to understand where they are most common, how dense they are, and therefore what the likelihood is that a a future spacecraft may inadvertently land in one. This happened with the MER Opportunity when it landed on Mars eleven years ago. It turned out to be good because the crater’s walls let Opportunity see a lot of otherwise buried layers, and it was able to get out of the crater. But if the crater were a little steeper, or a little smaller, then the rover would not have been able to escape or it may have fallen over and not have been able to righten itself.

Now it seems much more important: You send a half-$billion craft to Mars, you’re going to be more willing to fund a $300k study into impact crater hazards for landing, right? But, a layperson may never get past the title and flag it for government waste.

And that leads into the third issue: We don’t get that money. On a proposal I wrote several years ago, just as an example, the total budget for the three-year proposal was $328k. Salary was $127k, a little over one-third of the total amount. That was my salary as a graduate student half-time for 1 year, and postdoc half-time for 2 years, and my then-advsior for 1 month each year. What did the other money go to? The vast majority was institutional overhead, which covers administration staff salary, budget office salary, building rent, lights, computer support, custodial staff, etc. Then there were benefits, like health insurance, life insurance, and retirement. There was also money in there for a new computer and software licenses so I could do the work. About $10k was travel to conferences and another $6k was publication costs: After all, I could do the most ground-breaking study ever, but if I never told anyone about it, then what’s the point?

So, while a study may look like it costs a lot, and overhead rates vary considerably across different institutions (and are generally higher at private companies versus public universities), a very very general rule-of-thumb is to divide the total amount by 3, and that’s salary.

That brings us back to the article in question. Now that you have all that in mind, let’s look at it. Using the NIH (National Institutes of Health) search form, here’s the grant, awarded to Dr. Karolynn Siegel, entitled, “Use of Smartphones Applications for Partnering Among MSM.” MSM is “men who have sex with men” (since many men are unwilling to identify as bi or gay but do have sex with other men).

While Free Beacon doesn’t seem to have much of a spin, and it does not allow comments so I can’t quite tell which end of the political spectrum it’s on, WND clearly does have an agenda: This study is a waste because who cares about gays (or “gays”) hooking up? What benefit could there possibly be!?

Well, take a moment and think more broadly about it from both a social and medical standpoint: Smartphones and GPS-enabled devices have drastically changed how we interact, so from a social standpoint we need research to better understand that phenomenon. From a health standpoint, it’s dramatically increased the ease of casual sex, especially among gay men where there is still a stigma of trolling the bars or streets for a partner. Heterosexuals have their own app (Tinder), and so the findings from a study of gay males hooking up could have implications for straight men and women, too. And, casual sex will increase the risk of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). So, from a public health standpoint, understanding a strong new vector for how diseases spread is the first step to trying to determine ways to minimize that risk. Both for straight and gay persons.

If the blogger or WND had bothered to read the abstract on the NIH site, they would have found that (emphasis mine):

The study aims are: 1. Examine how and why smartphone applications are used for sexual partnering, the situations and locations in which they are used, in order to gain insights into how these use patterns might contribute to sexual risk behaviors. 2. Investigate the process by which MSM use smartphone applications to find sexual partners (i.e., who they look for, how they present themselves, how they communicate, extent of safer sex negotiation,and disclosure) to gain insights into how this process may contribute to sexual risk behaviors. 3. Investigate the sexual and emotional states (e.g., more/less urgency, arousal, impulsivity) that MSM experience when seeking or meeting sexual partners using smartphone applications and gain insights into how these states may contribute to sexual risk behaviors. 4. Examine the perceived need and acceptability of a smartphone delivered intervention and assess what MSM perceive as needed components for a smartphone-based sexual risk reduction intervention.

It also contains a public health relevance statement (likely unique to the NIH, since I don’t have to do that for NASA).

Meanwhile, the cost – $432k – may seem high. But, divide by three, and we’re down to around $150k salary. For a medical researcher, working for two years, at maybe half or a third of their time on this particular grant, that doesn’t seem very high anymore. Especially if most of it is given to graduate students who will be conducting the actual interviews with the 60 MSM in the study and Dr. Siegel is there for a month a year to supervise and then more at the end to crunch the data. In medical studies, there’s also money that is sometimes paid out to participants as compensation (I have no idea if that’s the case in this study, but I know it happens in others).

And so, we went from a sensationalist headline that clearly is meant to drum up a specific reaction (government waste! who cares about gays!?) but that’s because it leaves out any form of context as to the broader implications of this kind of study and why it’s being done. It also completely ignores that the amount of money in the federal budget for government-funded scientific research is somewhere around 3.4%. (FY2015 budget is around $3.97T, but science is $135B, and just under half of that is defense, leaving 1.8% for non-defense.)

And, World Net Daily got that reaction. In the 22 hours the article on their site has been posted, they have gotten 42 comments. They broadly fit into saying that President Obama is gay (which is another odd conspiracy they’ve been floating for years, and remember that being gay on WND is bad), that this is government waste of tax money, and that the study is stupid because it’s about The Gays.

Ignoring the first, some examples of the second are:

    • dan690: “The government says there is no room in the budget for cuts. Here is an excellent example of where to cut and there are thousands more.”
    • Tomas Cruz: “And they wonder why we reject every call for more taxes for this or that because it ends up with this nonsense.”
    • James Frost: “What the hell is going on with our officials? They spend our money on conducting such stupid research. But what`s the use? They`d better spend money on veterans, poor families, security measures. This gays have too much public attention!”

And examples of the third are:

    • Sharknado: “A government of perverts…just great…thanks a lot.”
    • ThoLawn: “What was the purpose to spend (waste indeed) half of million dollars to interview all that gays? What they’re going to do with that “research” results? Would it help to solve any problems? What a stupidity…”
    • HardCorePress: “Talk about in your face government sponsored hommoman wanna pump a guys *** pervertedness. This type of blatant sin has been seen by God and God will send his wrath upon this country. May it be nuclear fire to cleanse the cancerous mass of homosexuality (the pinnacle of debauchery and Obamanibale hedonism).”

We all knew that the goal of at least one post per day wasn’t going to happen, but, oh well. As I wait in the airport for a flight to board, I have a follow-up post to my post summarizing three of the things Satanists were doing in 2014 to try to show that religious freedom applies to everyone.

And in this case, we get the small, 4-paragraph followup from WFTV, “Satanic Coloring Book Kills Bible Giveaway.”

For those who are too lazy to click on either link (mine or WND’s) the idea was that a public school district in Florida was having a Bible give-away, on school property, during school time. And so, if they were going to do this, so as to not violate the Establishment Clause (state-run school therefore can’t favor one religion over another), the Satanists asked if they could give away coloring books. The school had three choices: Face a lawsuit for saying no, agree, or stop all give-aways. I would prefer that last one. It looked like they were going to do the second one.

And, based on the WND headline from three days ago, they went with the third one.

Let me be clear on my position: The Bible giveaway should not have ever been permitted. That’s for church. Not for school. I think that it’s much better to NOT do this than to allow everything. Public schools should not be in the habit of promoting or appearing to promote any religion, in my opinion.

Surprisingly, “larryblk” has the top-highest-rated comment and it is: “That’s the way religious freedom works – everyone gets to participate. If you aren’t willing to let everyone participate, then you can’t have anyone participate. Courts have been very clear on this.”

Huzzah! Unfortunately, his is the only comment that’s reasonably highly rated that advocates this position. The rest are ranting about the decline of morals and “SATANISM came through by ROCK MUSIC” and various other stupidity.

Oh, and over at The Friendly Atheist, Hemant points out that Glen Beck also has a view on this (hint: he thinks it’s national suicide).

How’s that for a convoluted subject line? This is one from my archives from late September / early October of 2014, and it took place only a few 10s of miles from me. There were no less than three World Net Daily posts about it:

I think that, most objectively, one can state the situation as this: A school board decided to modify the AP US History curriculum (note: AP curriculums are strictly set by the College Board (for-profit company) and if you do not follow them, you can lose AP accreditation and the students will not get college credit). The modification was as such:

Tensions have run high in Jefferson County schools since three conservative candidates were elected to the school board. These new board members have suggested an extensive rewrite of the way history is taught to the area’s students to a model they believe is more patriotic.

The right-leaning board-members said they believe history teachers should teach nationalism, respect for authority and reverence for free markets. They should avoid teaching any historical events or acts that promote “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

As a consequence, teachers protested by calling in sick en masse, and then students held their own protest with over 1000 in three different schools simply walking out. In protest. The very thing that the school board was trying to prevent them from learning (civil disorder). I found that particular irony quite delicious. It’s also midnight and I’ve been up for 15 hours and got little sleep the previous night.

From what I can tell, the conservative members of the board succeeded in their proposal, but they also formed some sort of review board with student/parent/teacher involvement for some curriculum matters. Meanwhile, people are working to recall those board members and replace them.

With that in mind, can you guess how the WND commenters reacted? Top-rated on that first post is by “Pi10107” whom I’ve quoted a lot on this blog: “I don’t believe that these kids came up with this protest on their own. Of course, they are not patriotic and have been brainwashed, but behind the scenes were adult commies pushing this. I totally agree with Annolyze that these kids didn’t even know what they were protesting.”

Or “ratamacue76” wrote: “I suspect that this was started by some leftist teacher who is doing their part to make sure that the current “hate America” curriculum stays in place. The kids being saturated by the Leftist view of the nation know none the better and most probably don’t even know what they are protesting in the first place. This is a dress rehearsal for useful idiots who are still in training.”

One of World Net Daily’s non-trademarked trademarks is to write purposely inflammatory headlines that distort the story to make their readership pissed off and riled up. The latest by Bob Unruh (January 8, 2015), is no exception: “Firestorm: U.S. School Makes Girls Follow Islamic Dress Code.”

That headline sounds as though a normal school in the US is making girls cover up from head to toe with only a slit for their eyes. Then I thought, “Okay, maybe this is a private, religious school,” in which case they would be permitted to do that because religious schools have a lot of leeway. In which case it’s no worse than nuns hitting students with rulers (I’d say its less worse) or the other kinds of dress codes. This is America where parents have the religious freedom to send their students to religious schools that have dress codes.

But, this story isn’t even that. This story is about an elective social studies class on world religions, that has a non-required field trip to different religious places of worship. And, the school sent a letter home with students that explained to parents that the students who were going to go on this field trip would be required to follow the dress codes at each place of worship. But, I don’t see anyone complaining about yarmulkes for boys going to the Temple/Synagogue.

In fact, the WND article says (sort of) as much in the first two paragraphs:

The Douglas County School District in Colorado, under fire for saying that schoolgirls might have to cover up from head to ankle for a field trip to a Muslim mosque, has confirmed that such Shariah requirements will be enforced on the outing.

“Students who choose to attend the [Rocky Heights Middle School] world religion field trip are expected to respect the dress code of the host facility,” the school said in a statement posted online.

Maybe I’m a left-wing crazy, but to me, this does not seem like a ridiculous requirement. The students will be -for all intent and purpose – a guest at each place of worship (“the Denver Mosque, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue”). If you are a guest, you should be following the rules.

Part of the problem, however, is that Islamophobe-in-Chief (and WND Commenter) Pamela Geller got wind of this:

The note sent to families, according to a report from Islam expert and commentator Pamela Geller, said: “The world religions field trip is next Tuesday, January 13. We will be visiting the Denver Mosque, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue. We will then eat lunch at Park Meadows Food Court. Students must either bring a sack lunch or money to purchase lunch at the food court.”

It continued: “THERE IS A DRESS CODE FOR THIS TRIP: All students must wear appropriate long pants. Ankles must be covered. Girls must bring wide scarves or hooded sweatshirts for the mosque.”

Geller said the “subjugation and oppression of women are enshrined under the Shariah.”

“Young school girls should not be forced to ‘respect’ a dress code that represents honor violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, et al,” she wrote.

I would ask Ms. Geller to read Leviticus in her Bible before casting judgement on the literal tenants of strict Islam. There, she would find such light reading as, if you have sex with your neighbor’s wife, both are to be killed (Leviticus 18:20). Or, just general blasphemy is punishable by stoning to death (Leviticus 24:14).

But, back to the article, even Bob Unruh apparently felt the need to be somewhat fair and point out that the field trip is optional:

Officials explained the field trip is an option, not a requirement.

“If the decision is made to not participate in a field trip, alternative educational opportunities are provided,” the district said. “This is true for any DCSD field trip, including the RHMS world religion field trip.”

If students do choose to participate in the field trip, they are subject to the Shariah dress requirements of the mosque, the school said.

“As part of providing an authentic learning opportunity for students, DCSD provides an optional field trip to further support the world religion course, thus allowing students who choose to participate to discuss what they experienced on the field trip with their family members and eventually leading to the development of their own views,” the school district said.

Geller observed: “Here again we see that anywhere American law and Islamic law conflict, it is American law that has to give way.”

But again, we see the over-reaction by Pamela Geller. This is not a case of American law versus Islamic law. This is a case of an optional field trip for students in an optional class to better understand world religions. This has nothing to do with American law, and I would almost say this has nothing to do with Islamic law but rather moderate Islamic customs when in places of worship.

I wrote this post title while watching a new TV show, so forgive me if it sounds horribly contrived. If you’re at all familiar with skepticism or critical thinking, you should recognize the title as an argument from popularity logical fallacy: Just because “everyone” believes something, that does not make it true.

In this case, this comes from the WND post from September 26, 2014: “Vast Majority of Americans Support School Prayer.”


Marriage Acceptance versus Legality

Marriage Acceptance versus Legality (©XKCD)

What does this XKCD comic have to do with school prayer? Nothing, but it has to do with what’s accepted by a certain fraction of the United States population versus what’s legal. The US Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in 1967. It was not until 1995 that >50% of Americans thought that two people of different races should be allowed to marry. All because a majority or minority of people think something does not make it right or wrong.

Similarly, just because (according to the latest poll) 61% of Americans think are in favor of daily prayer in the classroom, that does not mean it is constitutional. The problem is simple: The Constitution has a separation of church and state, and therefore public schools cannot lead students in any form of prayer. If students want to pray on their own time, they can do that. But teachers and administrators can’t lead it, and there can’t be generic “Okay everyone, pray to yourself for a minute” because that excludes people who are not religious or who are members of religions that don’t pray.

Unfortunately, most WND commenters don’t get this.

Sigh. One of my many, many issues with Americans in general – regardless of their political ideology – is their short memory and their penchant for blaming current problems on the current people in charge, regardless of who initiated something or who is responsible for its execution. In this case, the dried up anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly (I recently learned one of her sons is Andrew Schlafly, the guy behind Conservapedia), wrote “Growing Rejection of Common Core” for WND, which published it on June 9, 2014.

Here is her second paragraph:

Common Core is the title of a new set of standards the Obama administration has been trying to force the states to use. Even before the standards were written, 45 states and the District of Columbia signed on, encouraged by inducements of federal funds. The principal outliers are Texas, Alaska, Nebraska and Virginia.

The problem is, the first sentence is wrong. Oh, and apparently, Schlafly doesn’t like Indiana, the other of the five states that never agreed to it. Anyway, just doing a tiny bit of reading on that college freshmans’ website of choice, Wikipedia, we find that Common Core was thunked up throughout the 1990s, and 2000s, and that it was the National Governors’ Association (NGA) in association with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that were the ones to develop this. They announced it on June 1, 2009. Both the NGA and CCSSO hold the copyrights to Common Core.

Doesn’t seem to me like President Obama or any part of his administration had much of anything to do with this.

Now, it is possible that this was helped by the 2008 election, wherein 29 governor houses went to Democrats, 21 to Republicans (though really that’s only 1 seat change). And now, in 2014 based on the 2010 and 2012 elections, Republicans have 29 and Democrats have 21 seats. Kinda flipped there.

And, it is true that the Obama administration has encouraged states to adopt them:

Standards were released for mathematics and English language arts on June 2, 2010, with a majority of states adopting the standards in the subsequent months. States were given an incentive to adopt the Common Core Standards through the possibility of competitive federal Race to the Top grants. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competitive grants on July 24, 2009, as a motivator for education reform. To be eligible, states had to adopt “internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place.” Though states could adopt other college- and career-ready standards and still be eligible, they were awarded extra points in their Race to the Top applications if they adopted the Common Core standards by August 2, 2010.

Personally, I think the backlash is because there has not really been much education reform in the US in decades, and people who study best education practices have learned a lot since the 1960s. That means teachers implementing Common Core may not do it very well at first. That means that parents who see their children’s lessons and homework may not understand it because, dag nabbit, that’s not how they were taught!

Oh, and because it encourages abortion and gays and feminists and atheism and it’s government take-over of everything. And making everything the same (since parents are holding protest signs saying, “My child is not common”).

As with anything massive, there are bound to be problems. As with any reform worked on for a broken system, it’s going to take time to get the kinks worked out. But the current knee-jerk reactions by the über-conservatives do nothing to help the conversation.