House panel advances bill to add media literacy to school curriculum

Colorado Politics: In an era fraught with claims of “fake news,” there’s no better time to ensure that the next generation knows how to discern what is accurate and credible and what isn’t, say backers of a bill making its way through the Colorado House of Representatives.

Democratic state Rep. Lisa Cutter of Evergreen, a public relations and media consultant, is the sponsor of House Bill 1110. The bill is a first step toward designing a media-literacy curriculum for the state’s public K-12 students, say its supporters.

Under the bill, the state Department of Education would take charge of a media literacy committee. As introduced, the commissioner of education would appoint the members of a nine-member panel, which would include a teacher, an expert in media literacy, a librarian, a parent representative, a school administrator and a student.

That committee would then prepare a report, due no later than Jan. 1, 2020, that would make recommendations for setting up media literacy education in elementary and secondary education.

Students today face the largest, most complex information landscape in history, Cutter told the House Education Committee earlier this week. “We must prepare them to deal with this.”

Understanding how to discern credible information is critical, she added. Students need to be able to tell if pictures, memes and video are real, and they need help recognizing the hallmarks of legitimate news, she explained.

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