Public Hearing on Media Literacy Bill

State House, Boston
I spent the better part of Halloween morning at the Massachusetts State House, specifically in Hearing Room A-1, for a Public Hearing convened by the Joint Committee on Education. The hearing was dedicated to proposed bills on curriculum in K-12 public schools, that included teaching of genocide, Civics education, and more. It was standing room only. Seats were filled and walls lined with staff, press, teachers, students, and advocates in attendance to hear testimony in support of a range of bills that would impact K-12 curriculum in public schools. I was there to testify in support of the Media Literacy Bill (S.213/H.472) on behalf of the MASC Legislative Committee.

Advocates speak in support
of S.213 before the Joint
Committee on Education

Room A-1
Bill S.213 is unique in that it is not written as a mandate for teachers or districts to teach a particular subject. Rather, Media Literacy is a methodology, a pedagogy, a way of teaching that incorporates strategies for critical analysis in a way that is relevant and engaging to kids. Teachers recognize the need for media literacy - they see the very real effects of too much media, unhealthy media, and lack of critical analysis. Many teachers are using media literacy across many content areas already and the Massachusetts Teacher's Association endorses this bill; they have been on board as long as the Massachusetts PTA. Some school systems recognize that media literacy is written into the Common Core standards and those districts are moving forward to incorporate it throughout all content areas. Those who are not risk falling behind the schools that are doing a better job preparing their students for work and life in the 21st century.