Education

Issues ››› Education
  • Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education Reform Movement

    A Guide To The Funders Behind A Tangled Network Of Advocacy, Research, Media, And Profiteering That’s Taking Over Public Education

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Media Matters outlines the many overlapping connections in an echo chamber of education privatization advocacy groups, think tanks, and media outlets that are increasingly funded by a handful of conservative billionaires and for-profit education companies -- often without proper disclosure. 

  • Here’s What To Avoid When Reporting On Student Debt

    Blog ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    April 25 marked the fourth anniversary of outstanding student loan debt topping $1 trillion in the United States, yet media still aren’t always telling the full story on college affordability and student debt. If the public thinks the student debt crisis only affects white, upper middle class borrowers enrolled in impractical programs at four-year colleges and universities, the media aren't​ doing their​ jobs.​

    It’s time for media to recognize the realities of the nation’s student debt burden. Outlets should stop ignoring the voices of students and borrowers, and stop reinforcing unrealistic assumptions about how​ higher education can be paid for ​today. Here are some of the reporting tactics they ought to leave behind.

    Framing Student Debt In The Narrow Context Of Traditional, Four-Year Colleges And Universities

    Media often focus their reporting on six-figure student debt balances from prestigious and expensive four-year colleges and universities. But focusing on the experience of this narrow segment of student borrowers ignores those who are most deeply affected by student loan debt: students who take loans to pursue higher education but are unable to complete their programs, and students borrowing to attend non-traditional or for-profit programs with fewer federal grant and loan options.

    As the Center for American Progress’ (CAP) Ben Miller explained in June, “the link between debt and educational attainment is too frequently missing from national discussions on student loans.” Miller’s study found that a recent graduate with a higher debt burden was financially better off than a non-graduate who owed a smaller amount, because the graduate was more able to boost their income and pay off their balance​, resulting in fewer defaults for graduates​.

    A comprehensive report from the Brookings Institution in September highlighted the outsized student debt burden of another non-traditional group of borrowers: those who attended for-profit schools. The report concluded that “most of the increase in default [on federal student loans] is associated with the rise in the number of borrowers at for-profit schools and, to a lesser extent, 2-year institutions and certain other non-selective institutions, whose students historically composed only a small share of borrowers.” The report also demonstrated that “These non-traditional borrowers were drawn from lower income families, attended institutions with relatively weak educational outcomes, and experienced​ poor labor market outcomes after leaving school.”

    It’s clear that four-year college graduates are not the majority of borrowers in default or struggling to make payments, and it should be just as clear in media coverage of the issue.

    Ignoring How Student Loan Debt Perpetuates Economic Inequality For Women, Black, And Hispanic Borrowers

    Reporting on the nation's student debt crisis without acknowledging how the debt burden disproportionately affects women and people of color is irresponsible, and it leaves out important details about how student loan debt ripples across the economy.

    Here are the facts: women are more likely to have outstanding student loan debt, and dedicate a higher percentage of their earnings ​toward paying off that debt. The gender pay gap also makes getting out of debt all the more difficult for women, in particular for black and Hispanic women. In February, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that “more women than men… are contributing more money to their student debt payments than a typical individual can reasonably afford,” and ​are ​still making a less significant dent in their outstanding loan balances. “The gap in student loan repayment is even larger for black and Hispanic women with college degrees,” the report noted.

    Black and Hispanic borrowers generally have more debt than their peers, regardless of the type of degree they pursued or the type of institution they attend. In fact, black and Hispanic students are far more likely to enroll in cheaper two-year, open-access schools, but also often have access to fewer family resources than white students and therefore must rely on student loans in greater numbers. Black and Hispanic graduates are also afforded less financial security from having a college degree.

    The nation's student debt burden feeds off of, and perpetuates, existing economic inequality. Media that ignore this phenomenon are ignoring the experiences of the majority of student loan borrowers, and are obscuring the true costs of the national student loan debt burden.

    Using Outdated Economics To Suggest Student Debt Is Avoidable With Part-Time Work And Better Decision Making

    Right-wing media figures, in particular, frequently pair discussions of student debt and college affordability with outdated anecdotes to suggest borrowers struggling to pay off student loan debt could have simply worked harder or made smarter decisions to avoid incurring debt. Here’s the reality: A​ny media figure who suggests students or recent graduates could have avoided taking out student loans not only ignores that many students do not have the resources to find alternatives, but relies on completely outdated assumptions about how much college costs in the first place.

    The fact is that college costs are rising across the board, for all types of higher education. Non-traditional programs often end up being more expensive for students, and some for-profit programs in particular, underserve students and leave them more likely to default on loans. Finding “a cheaper school” is not a real option, and making a living wage without a college degree is increasingly not an option either.

    Economists agree that higher education credentials, and in particular a bachelor’s degree, continue to have outsized positive economic benefits and are an undoubtedly “sound investment.” So pundits citing cheaper, alternative higher education programs are, at best, blindly promoting the nonexistent and, at worst, knowingly perpetuating a two-tier system of higher education where low-income students ought not to pursue the types of degrees proven to be most beneficial.

    And those anecdotes about how conservative media figures were able to pay for college with some elbow grease and a part-time job? Researchers have repeatedly found that’s just not possible anymore. An October study from Georgetown University found that while “over the last 25 years, more than 70 percent of college students have been working while enrolled,” it’s just not enough to offset the costs of school or avoid loans. “A student working full-time at the federal minimum wage would earn $15,080 annually before taxes,” the report concluded. “That isn’t enough to pay tuition at most colleges, much less room and board and other expenses.”

    Painting All College Affordability And Student Debt Policy Solutions As Equally Comprehensive

    Media coverage of student loan and college affordability policies in the 2016 presidential election is inaccurate if it attempts to frame policy solutions from both parties as equally comprehensive. Both Democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ​have released comprehensive policy plans designed to bring down college costs for new students and to ease the burden of student loan debt for borrowers and recent graduates. Both plans have price tags and​ detail concrete actions on the issue. Regardless of where voters stand substantively, it is undeniable that both plans exist and are comprehensive.

    On the other hand, none of the three remaining Republican presidential candidates have released policy proposals on higher education affordability or college debt ​--​ in fact, front-​runner Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have not even dedicated website space to the issue. Gov. John Kasich (OH) includes a paragraph on college costs in his larger education platform​​, but doesn't explain what policies he'd pursue on a national scale. ​

    Recognizing that student debt is a major concern for young voters with vague public statements is not the same as offering concrete policy solutions that might help alleviate the problem. Reporting that frames policy proposals from all of the presidential candidates as equally comprehensive or equally viable in order to appear balanced is just misleading the public.

  • Right-Wing Media's Worst Attempts to Downplay Sexual Assault and Diminish Survivors

    ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH

    For Sexual Assault Awareness month, Media Matters looks back at right-wing media's history of downplaying, and questioning the legitimacy of, sexual assault. Right-wing media figures have called reporting statutory rape “whiny,” claimed sexual assault victims have a "coveted status," said the sexual assault epidemic is "not happening," blamed feminism for encouraging sexual assault, and said attempts to curb sexual assault constitute "a war happening on boys."

  • Chicago Tribune's Anti-Teachers-Union Crusade Continues Over "Historic" Union Day Of Action

    Blog ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is coordinating a "day of action" walkout on April 1, and it will be joined by students from local universities, community activists, and other labor groups in what the union is calling a "historic" moment for the Chicago labor movement. CTU announced the one-day walkout after its membership voted to authorize the action in late March, and it follows months of contract negotiations amid widespread city and state budget issues. In the months since Chicago teachers' contract expired in June, the Chicago Tribune has frequently editorialized its opposition to union actions, mischaracterizing and dismissing educators' concerns and repeatedly accusing teachers of throwing a "tantrum" and abandoning students.

    The one-day walkout is meant to address unfair labor practices, which the union says include the school district's recent decision to stop paying raises based on experience and educational credentials and its proposal to phase out district contributions to teachers' pension plans. These decisions are the latest in an ongoing contract negotiation process that began more than a year ago, before the previous contract expired in June.

    Main points of negotiation for a new contract include class sizes, staffing resources for school nurses and librarians, members' pensions and health care plans, pay cuts and modifications to scheduled pay raises, and school closings. The Chicago Public School district (CPS) says it cannot fund the union's proposals; it is currently facing a $1.1 billion operating deficit. The union proposes generating new revenue by adopting tax reform targeted at the city's wealthiest taxpayers to pay for contract stipulations and to adequately fund schools, putting pressure on CPS, the city of Chicago, and state lawmakers.

    As the Tribune itself reported, union leadership has acknowledged that the day of action is part of a broader "labor-led fight" calling for the state of Illinois to prioritize finding new revenue to fund social services and public education. The action has gained the support of "other labor unions and community organizations" including a local group advocating for a $15 minimum wage, several colleges and universities, which are hosting rallies and teach-ins, a labor union representing faculty at several Illinois universities, and workers protesting layoffs elsewhere in the city.

    But that hasn't stopped the Chicago Tribune, the top daily newspaper in Illinois, from repeatedly publishing editorials that rely on mischaracterizations of CTU's activities to dismiss educators' concerns.

    In its most recent editorial on the walkout, from March 27, the Tribune described CTU leaders as having "spent weeks whipping their members into a froth," and having "stoked members' anger" over Chicago Public Schools' proposal to phase out existing teacher pension plans. The editorial referred to the walkout as a "hastily planned, unfocused Day of Tantrum," lamenting that educators would be "brandishing banners and hollering slogans in the Loop [downtown Chicago] for ... what?" And the Tribune implored Chicago teachers to cross picket lines during the walkout, writing that "gutsy educators" ought to "put their classroom service to Chicago's children first" and "rebel against misguided leadership," echoing the school district's opposition.

    A week earlier, the editorial board argued that "the teachers' tantrum" would be a "reckless action" that pits the union against "most workers in Chicago," who "don't have the luxury of stepping out for a day on a whim." The Tribune asked, "how does cheating kids of a precious day of education generate sympathy for the teachers' cause?"

    On March 11, the editorial board wrote, "If teachers walk, students would learn an acrid lesson about the teachers union's astonishing disrespect for the value of classroom instruction," bizarrely suggesting that educators somehow fail to understand the importance of classroom learning. The Tribune went on to accuse teachers of "abandon[ing] their students," throwing a "tantrum," and teaching students "that when money and education are in play, some adults put education second to their real priority."

    In December, the Tribune editorial board reacted to an initial strike authorization vote by the union by announcing, "Chicago teachers made the official announcement Monday. They're ready to walk out of their classrooms, to abandon their students as early as March," and characterizing CTU's contract negotiation priorities as "grenades." In another December editorial discussing a CPS contract proposal, the Tribune mocked CTU's response, asking, "What planet are you on?"

    The previous month, the editorial board conceded that layoffs, of which more were still to come, warranted a strike from CTU -- before mockingly outlining a "compromise" plan that shifted blame away from the school district, neglected CTU's stated priorities completely, and advocated for "compromises" in "reform[ing] ... labor policies" on the state level.

    The Chicago Tribune's commitment to opposing CTU's every move relies largely on misrepresentation. In characterizing CTU's day of action as a "tantrum," the Tribune fails to recognize the realities of the walkout.

    Tantrums are typically unplanned and sudden; the possibility of a strike has loomed over contract negotiations between the teachers union and the school district for months. In December, an overwhelming 88 percent of eligible union members voted to authorize leadership to call for a strike, according to the union. Union leadership had been publicly discussing the possibility of a strike since November, and contract negotiations have been underway for more than a year.

    Tantrums are typically responses that are unwarranted or disproportionate to the stimulus; the growing number of students, higher education faculty, activist groups, and other labor unions that are joining the union in its day of action suggests that the issue at hand resonates with the larger Chicago community. In fact, a poll released by the Tribune itself in February found that 60 percent of Chicagoans agreed with the teachers union on needed reforms in Chicago public schools. Among households with students attending Chicago public schools, low-income households, and black and Hispanic respondents, union support was even stronger.

    To suggest the walkout cheats students at the expense of teacher pay also ignores the circumstances of the action.

    Confusingly, the Tribune failed to recognize, in its lamentations of lost classroom time, that one of the major factors influencing the April 1 walkout was the "abrupt" announcement from CPS that teachers and staff would be asked to take three unpaid furlough days in an attempt to alleviate the district's budget problems. The Tribune editorial board did not criticize these furlough days, which would also result in at least one fewer regular school day for students.

    And in accusing the union of having "disrespect for the value of classroom instruction," the Tribune grazed over the many factors beyond teacher compensation that have led to the walkout. The union's initial vote to authorize a strike in December outlined its major demands, which incorporated a number of priorities related to both classroom experiences for students and members' job protections and supports. These included reducing standardized testing; allowing more teacher autonomy in grading; supporting counseling, nursing, and library staff; reducing class sizes; ensuring instruction in art, music, and technology; implementing restorative justice programs in select schools; and supporting translation and bilingual services.

    The Tribune's attacks on CTU are nothing new. The paper attacked CTU and its members back in 2012 when the union went on strike for seven days, before agreeing to the contract that expired in June. As CTU signaled its impending action, the Tribune immediately and repeatedly attacked the union's motives and suggested a contrast between what's best for students and what's best for teachers. "Let's make no mistake," the editorial board wrote in September of that year. "The union is not going to abandon those children because it's fighting for the best way to educate those children. It's fighting to protect the jobs of adults, the union members."

    The Tribune's treatment of CTU and its members has signaled a willingness to ignore the facts and a belief that educators' concerns ought to be dismissed. The paper's tone hasn't shifted in years, even as students, community activists, and other labor groups continue to join the union's organizing efforts, indicating more widespread local frustration with the financial hardships facing the city and state.

    Yet the Tribune, the most-read daily newspaper serving Chicago, continues to deliver its anti-union editorial crusade to Chicagoans' doorsteps.

    Image at top via Flickr user Spencer Tweedy using a Creative Commons License.

  • Right-Wing Media Fearmonger About Nonexistent Forced Union Membership Following Supreme Court Decision

    ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH & DINA RADTKE

    On March 29, the Supreme Court announced a split vote in the public sector union case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, upholding a decades-old practice that allows the union to collect a smaller "agency fee" from nonmembers who benefit from the union's collective bargaining efforts but don't pay full membership dues. Right-wing media reacted by mischaracterizing the fees and falsely claiming that the ruling forces employees to join unions and pay membership dues "whether [they] want to or not."

  • Fox's Neil Cavuto Allows Florida AG To Praise Trump Without Disclosing Her Controversial Past With Trump University

    Blog ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH

    Fox News' Neil Cavuto allowed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to praise Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump without disclosing her controversial past with Trump which includes a $25,000 contribution from Trump to support Bondi's re-election and Bondi refusing to investigate Trump University for fraud.

    On the March 17 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto interviewed Bondi about her recent endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Bondi, who once touted her relationship with Fox News in a pitch to win votes, appeared with Cavuto to explain why she endorsed Donald Trump for president.

    During the interview, Cavuto failed to question Bondi on her decision in 2013 to "declin[e] to prosecute one of Trump's businesses, Trump University, which faces fraud charges in New York." 

    In March, The Miami Herald reported that as Bondi "was preparing for a re-election bid" in the fall of 2013, Trump University "had just been sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman." In September 2013, "the Donald J. Trump Foundation ... contributed $25,000 to And Justice For All, a political committee controlled by Bondi."

    A spokesperson for Bondi claims the decision to not open an investigation "didn't involve Bondi directly" and the Trump campaign has yet to respond to questions regarding this matter. Her endorsement made her "the first big-name Republican official in the state" to endorse Trump.

  • The Media Were The Biggest Promoters Of Marco Rubio's Doomed Campaign

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped out of the 2016 Republican presidential election after losing his home state of Florida in the state's March 15 primary. The media had touted Rubio's candidacy throughout the race, despite his poor performance in debates and GOP primaries. Here's a look back at the media's promotion of the Marco Rubio presidential candidacy.

  • Better Business Bureau Confirms That Trump's Been Lying About Trump University All Along

    Spokesperson: "At No Point Did BBB Change The Rating Of Trump University Based Upon A Demand From Anyone"

    Blog ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    A statement from a Better Business Bureau (BBB) spokesperson confirmed fact-checkers' conclusions that Donald Trump has made misleading claims about Trump University's ratings from the consumer group.

    On March 8, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York issued a joint statement with the Council of Better Business Bureaus addressing "several misconceptions that have been reported publicly and repeated regarding Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (formerly Trump University)." Claire Rosenzweig, the president and CEO of the BBB Serving Metropolitan New York, the affiliate group responsible for maintaining records on Trump University, reiterated that the business's rating had "fluctuated between a D-minus and an A-plus" and explained that the low ratings of Trump University stemmed from "multiple consumer complaints about the business." Rosenzweig asserted, "At no point did BBB change the rating of Trump University based upon a demand from anyone." She explained that BBB policy automatically discounts ratings more than three years old, leading to a gradual upgrade in Trump University's rating over time as the business winded down and no new complaints were reported. Rosenzwieg also clarified that "Trump University has never been a BBB-accredited business." From the March 8 news conference:

    CLAIRE ROSENZWEIG: BBB did not send a document of any kind to the Republican debate site last Thursday evening. The document presented to debate moderators did not come from the BBB that night. Trump University does not currently have an "A" rating with BBB. The BBB business review for this company has continually been "no rating" since September of 2015. Prior to that, it fluctuated between a D-minus and an A-plus. The document posted on social media on Thursday night was not a current business review of Trump University. It appeared to be part of a business review from 2014.

    BBB ratings are based on information we obtain about a business, including complaints received from the public. The reporting period is three years.

    [...]

    At no point did BBB change the rating of Trump University based upon a demand from anyone.

    [...]

    During the period when Trump University appeared to be active in the marketplace, BBB received multiple consumer complaints about this business. These complaints affected the Trump University BBB rating, which was as low as a D-minus in 2010. As the company appeared to be winding down after 2013, no new complaints were reported. Complaints over three years old automatically rolled off of the business review, according to BBB policy. As a result, over time, Trump University's BBB rating went to an A in July 2014 and then to an A-plus in January 2015.

    Trump University has never been a BBB-accredited business. The document handed to the debate moderators on Thursday night could not have been an actual Better Business Bureau accreditation notice for this business.

    [...]

    BBB publishes ratings for both accredited and non-accredited businesses when we have sufficient information and the business continues to operate.

    Trump's now-defunct Trump University business -- which The New York Times described as "not a real university at all but a series of seminars held in hotels across the country" -- is currently facing multiple pending lawsuits brought by former students and the state of New York alleging misrepresentation, leading to attacks against the GOP presidential front-runner from his rivals Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). In response to Cruz and Rubio's attacks on the campaign trail and at the February 25 CNN debate and March 3 Fox News debate, Trump continued to defend his business by repeatedly claiming that Trump University "has an 'A' rating from the Better Business Bureau," tweeting a misleading screenshot he claimed represented the current BBB rating page for Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, and falsely alleging that the group had sent him a fax about the ratings during a commercial break at the Fox debate.

    Previously, fact-checkers from PolitiFact, CNN's Reality Check, The Washington Post, and FactCheck.org all concluded that Trump's claims about Trump University's BBB rating were "misleading," "literally wrong," and "false," citing an earlier BBB statement that explained that Trump U's rating has "fluctuated between an A+ and D-" and that Trump U. currently has no rating because it is "believed to be out of business." The BBB has also previously clarified that the screenshot of the organization's website Trump tweeted following the March 3 Fox debate "did not show the current BBB Business Review or the current rating" for the business, and that the group did not send a fax to Trump during the debate. The March 8 statement reiterated that the document Trump tweeted and has subsequently referenced that showed the business holding an "A" rating was "not a current business review of Trump University."

  • Fact-Checkers Slam Trump's Latest "False" And "Literally Wrong" Claims About Trump U.

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump doubled down on his debunked defenses of his embattled Trump University, a real estate seminar business, during the Fox News March 3 GOP debate. Trump once again claimed that the now-defunct Trump U. "has an 'A' rating from the Better Business Bureau" and misrepresented the status of pending lawsuits against the business. Fact-checkers have weighed in, once again, on Trump's defenses of Trump U., concluding that his claims are "false," "literally wrong," "inaccurate," and "misleading."  

  • Watch Chris Hayes Explain Why Rubio "May Not Be The Best Spokesman" Against Trump University

    Rubio Received Donations From And Acted On Behalf Of Corinthian Colleges, "The Most Notorious For-Profit School System In The Country"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's now-defunct Trump University real estate seminar program is currently facing multiple lawsuits, leading to a series of attacks from Trump's rival, Sen. Marco Rubio. MSNBC's Chris Hayes pointed out that Rubio "may not be the best spokesman" for attacks on Trump University, however, since Rubio has taken donations from and defended Corinthian Colleges, a shuttered chain of for-profit schools currently facing legal actions for defrauding students.

    The Trump University venture, which The New York Times described as "not a real university at all but a series of seminars held in hotels across the country," is currently facing multiple pending lawsuits brought by former students and the state of New York alleging misrepresentation. At the February 25 CNN Republican presidential debate, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) both attacked Trump about the pending lawsuits against his "fake university," and Rubio has since continued to highlight the Trump University controversy on the campaign trail. Although fact-checkers have agreed that Trump's defenses of his failed real estate institute are "misleading" and "false," Hayes pointed out that Rubio's relationship with the now-defunct for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges, found by a federal judge to have "engaged in deceptive practices," compromises his ability to credibly criticize Trump University.

    From the February 29 edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes:

    CHRIS HAYES (HOST): Trump University certainly seems to have had some extremely shady practices, as we've reported before on the show -- even when the story broke a few years ago. But, here's the thing: Marco Rubio may not be the best spokesman for the cause. The presidential hopeful is connected with perhaps the most notorious for-profit school system in the country, Corinthian Colleges, which went bankrupt last year after being fined $30 million and sued by the federal government for misrepresenting job placement numbers to boost enrollment. Last June, the Education Department announced it would forgive federal loans for tens of thousands of students duped into attending Corinthian schools. Though we should note advocates for students say the process is so onerous it's leaving many behind.

    Now, not only has Rubio advocated for what he calls alternative education -- including as a presidential candidate -- but, according to Bloomberg, he's benefited from over $27,000 in donations from Corinthian Colleges over the past five years. Rubio even stood up for the company when the feds began investigating its marketing practices in 2014. Bloomberg reports he wrote a letter to Education Department officials, asking them to 'demonstrate leniency' and keep federal aid dollars flowing during the investigation. According to the department, since 2010, Corinthian enrolled around 350,000 students who took out financial aid loans worth up to $3.5 billion. In a statement to Bloomberg, a spokesperson for Rubio said, 'Senator Rubio felt it was important to protect the thousands of students in Florida from being punished and having their educations disrupted while the investigation was underway.' Not sure those students holding thousands of dollars in debt for a worthless degree would see it the same way.

  • Fact-Checkers Flunk Trump's Defenses Of Trump U.

    Trump's Claims Labeled "Literally Wrong," "Misleading," "False"

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Donald Trump's now-defunct real estate education business, Trump University, served as fodder for attacks from Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz at the February 25 GOP presidential debate and as the focus of a new series of attack ads from a right-wing political group. Fact-checkers have weighed in on the Trump University controversy, concluding that the attacks in the ads were "truthful," and that Trump's defenses during the debate and in a later interview were "misleading" and "literally wrong."

  • Marco Rubio's Poor Shaming Comments Come Straight From Fox News' Talking Points

    Rubio On Policies To Alleviate Child Poverty: "Ultimately, There's No Law I Can Pass To Make People Better Parents"

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET & CYDNEY HARGIS

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) blamed poverty on bad parents and a lack of strong family values during a CNN Republican presidential townhall, parroting Fox News' talking points and long history of poor-shaming.