Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 2240

Should the Dept. of Education Give States & Localities Grants for K-12 Media Literacy Education?

Argument in favor

Grants for media literacy education would make it easier for school districts to empower students to identify foreign influence campaigns and make educated decisions about advertising.

jimK's Opinion
···
08/06/2019
Much of the cyber intrusion by foreign entities of even our largest institutions comes from unwary internet users clicking on links that appear real and useful- but are actually downloading harmful software that is easily spread to other computers within the same network. Much of the foreign disinformation campaigns come from internet sites posing to look like something familiar, but are not- but few people look at the url to see if it is misspelled or inaccurate. Social media posts from foreign agents posing as bonified users have been carefully crafted to encourage dissent and can only be discovered if one carefully dissects what is being said and fact checks the assertions being made. The internet makes it easy to read the headlines without getting into the details. I can cite two instances where, on this site, there were obvious opinion campaigns that involved a blizzard of new users posting emotional slogans at an incredible rate by ’people’ who have no prior nor subsequent opinions on anything at all. Training of our youth to question the validity of internet information and to recognize potentially hazardous internet sites can only help them become better prepared voting citizens.
Like (61)
Follow
Share
jacklhasa's Opinion
···
08/06/2019
This country is in shambles because adults have no media literacy. Teaching our children to differentiate News from Entertainment is a necessity.
Like (38)
Follow
Share
Cndrla's Opinion
···
08/06/2019
Grants for media literacy education would make it easier for school districts to empower students to identify foreign influence campaigns and make educated decisions about advertising.
Like (23)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Given that state legislatures are already passing bills to add media literacy education to their curricula and that educational curricula this isn’t a federal issue.

Wes's Opinion
···
08/06/2019
The federal government needs to get out of education and let states and local municipalities handle it.
Like (24)
Follow
Share
JTJ's Opinion
···
08/06/2019
The federal government has ruined our schools, the states should manage their own education systems.
Like (16)
Follow
Share
Gopin2018's Opinion
···
08/07/2019
Get the Federal government out of education, states can do this better. Send funding back to the states with no strings attached and let states and local school districts make decisions that are best for them. #MAGA
Like (9)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedJuly 23rd, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2240?

This bill — the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act — would create a $20 million grant program at the Dept. of Education to help states develop and fund media literacy education initiatives across grades K-12. The grants would be available at both the state and local levels to develop statewide media literacy education guidelines, incorporate media literacy into curriculum, hire educators experienced with media literacy and promote educator professional development in media literacy. 

Impact

K-12 students; K-12 schools; media literacy education for K-12 students; Dept. of Education; and Dept. of Education grants to states and localities for K-12 media literacy education.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2240

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced this bill to combat foreign interference campaigns by improving media literacy education that teaches students skills to identify misinformation online

“Adversaries are targeting our democracy with sophisticated information campaigns designed to divide Americans and undermine our political system. One of the best ways we can fight back is to give people the tools they need to identify these disinformation campaigns and that begins with educating students. Effective media literacy education teaches students to access, analyze, and evaluate information. My legislation will help combat information warfare by giving young Americans the skills they need to distinguish truth from fiction and empower them to make informed decisions about the news and politics.”

In her press release, Sen. Klobuchar adds that ensuring Americans have the skills they need to make informed decisions about media content is “one of the critical ways” for the U.S. to combat election interference. Her office also notes that media literacy education is needed to “empower young people to make educated decisions about advertisements, controlled substances, nutrition, and physical and mental health.”

Media Literacy Now is among a number of media literacy organizations that support this bill. Its president and founder, Erin McNeill, says

“Media literacy skills are clearly essential to being an informed citizen today, as well as for the health, well-being, and economic participation of all. As advanced communications technology becomes more accessible, policymakers at all levels must elevate media literacy education as a priority to ensure that these important life skills become an accepted element of education. This bill raises the conversation to the national level, while helping educators on the ground address media literacy and digital citizenship challenges in a way that fits their local culture.”

Renee Hobbs, a professor of Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island, writes favorably of this bill. She notes that while teacher and educators have risen to the challenge of developing their own knowledge and digital competencies to teach their students digital literacy, “to scale this kind of training and support to reach all elementary and secondary teachers, we need the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act.” Hobbs adds

“It’s not brain surgery to make sure Americans possess the skills they need to make informed decisions about media content. In fact, it’s a form of empowerment that children and young people find fascinating… This bill could go a long way to advancing programs in media literacy that benefit American children and teens… In teaching undergraduate students, I see how the lack of media literacy in their K-12 education puts them at a severe disadvantage in terms of making sense of their information environments. Students need support to identify, evaluate and assess political disinformation campaigns. Indeed, many of my own undergraduate students were tricked by the Blacktivist Facebook profile in 2016, which offered snappy memes targeting African-Americans in order to discourage them from voting. Blacktivist was one of the campaigns developed by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), whose propaganda was spread through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter campaigns that reached 126 million users in the United States.”

This bill has six Democratic cosponsors. It is also endorsed by Media Literacy Now, the University of Rhode Island Media Education Lab, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).


Of NoteWhen she introduced this bill, Sen. Klobuchar’s office cited special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in its press release. In his report, Mueller revealed that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm,” created accounts on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, to post content that reached about 126 million Americans from 2013-2018

State lawmakers across the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to identify misinformation. Legislation to this effect has been passed in Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico. Hans Zeiger, a Republican state senator in Washington who cosponsored that state’s bill on this issue, says

“I don’t think it’s a partisan issue to appreciate the importance of good information and the teaching of tools for navigating the information environment. There is such a thing as an objective source versus other kinds of sources, and that’s an appropriate thing for schools to be teaching.”

Advocates say the K-12 curriculum hasn’t kept pace with technology, so while many children spend hours online every day, they still struggle to understand the content they’re consuming. Thus, advocates have spent years pushing schools to incorporate media literacy — including the ability to evaluate and analyze sources of information — into lesson plans in civics, language arts, science and other subjects. 

A 2017 study published by Stanford University researchers warned that middle school- to college-aged student were “easily duped” and ill-equipped to use reason with online information. In their paper, the researchers warned that “democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / FatCamera)

AKA

Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act

Official Title

A bill to promote digital citizenship and media literacy.

    Much of the cyber intrusion by foreign entities of even our largest institutions comes from unwary internet users clicking on links that appear real and useful- but are actually downloading harmful software that is easily spread to other computers within the same network. Much of the foreign disinformation campaigns come from internet sites posing to look like something familiar, but are not- but few people look at the url to see if it is misspelled or inaccurate. Social media posts from foreign agents posing as bonified users have been carefully crafted to encourage dissent and can only be discovered if one carefully dissects what is being said and fact checks the assertions being made. The internet makes it easy to read the headlines without getting into the details. I can cite two instances where, on this site, there were obvious opinion campaigns that involved a blizzard of new users posting emotional slogans at an incredible rate by ’people’ who have no prior nor subsequent opinions on anything at all. Training of our youth to question the validity of internet information and to recognize potentially hazardous internet sites can only help them become better prepared voting citizens.
    Like (61)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government needs to get out of education and let states and local municipalities handle it.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    This country is in shambles because adults have no media literacy. Teaching our children to differentiate News from Entertainment is a necessity.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Grants for media literacy education would make it easier for school districts to empower students to identify foreign influence campaigns and make educated decisions about advertising.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government has ruined our schools, the states should manage their own education systems.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    I don’t think this will get very far, since the education secretary is a woman who never went to any public school in her life and neither did her children. Her only qualification for the job was donating lots of money to Trumps campaign along with her brother.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Support Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bill to improve education. Media literacy is very important. Teach everyone to know what a reliable source is and differentiate that from what is some conspiracy theory being pushed by bots and trolls.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    This is an excellent use of taxpayer dollars investing in education.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Naturally
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Get the Federal government out of education, states can do this better. Send funding back to the states with no strings attached and let states and local school districts make decisions that are best for them. #MAGA
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    This s is a great idea
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Helping literacy rates increase would play a huge part in ending the school to prison pipeline. This is a must.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Very important, especially in rural areas Arkansas has a lot of-vote yes!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Understanding what is real and what’s fake, what is a trustworthy media source and what is not, is more important for students and all Americans than ever before! People who are trying push misinformation online will pray on those who have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is fake in the digital world. Media literacy programs are critical in education today.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Children shouldn't spend hours online everyday. It's absurd parents allow that to begin with. Besides, I do not trust the liberal education system to properly educate children about anything much less how to decipher information on the internet. This sounds like another attempt to influence our children. Why don't we concentrate our efforts on raising the level of reading and math scores, which is almost nil in many low income areas before we move on to high tech.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a local responsibility and an immense constitutional overreach. Period. Let the states determine and pay for the needs of their citizens.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    How about grant money for art and music classes? While you're all on the topic of education how about you get back to teaching "Real" education instead of pushing agendas that have nothing to do with education.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely not!!! No more democratic corruption, negative impact, seed planting in our children/youths minds. Parents are capable of deciding and controlling which IF ANY media is appropriate for their child. Definitely not a politicians decision or choice. Not many teachers could/should be trusted to monitor children either, how about use the funding to do better and continued background checks on the teachers. Have classrooms randomly monitored without notification, that may help one of many problems with education at any socio-economic level. Mitigate teacher exclusion/inclusion of certain students, improve teaching overall if they know they may be monitored, decrease sexual abuse, and bullying-by the teacher or other students. 👍🏻
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    As a public school high school teacher, media literacy has become a major focus of my curriculum. I would greatly appreciate any and all support, financial or educational, that helps my students better determine credible news sources.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE