The law on media literacy again hits a catch with the GOP legislators | news
The Colorado House only had a few bills for second reading debate on Thursday, but the morning was used up with only one: House Bill 21-1103, which was supposed to implement the recommendations of a 2019 media literacy report.
The bill succeeds House Bill 19-1110, which required the Colorado Department of Education to convene a committee to develop recommendations for a media literacy curriculum that would become part of civics the next time these standards were updated. This is happening this year as part of a bill (SB 21-067) that is now addressed to the House.
In 2019, Republicans opposed adding more to the elementary and secondary curriculum and who would sit on that media literacy body, complaining that the appointment of teachers and other union staff would skew the report. “The Fox [would be] responsible for the hen house, ”said Rep. Mark Baisley, R-Roxborough Park. “To give advice to the people who produce what we should be skeptical about how to teach it, [makes it] ripe for bias and misses the point. “
The House GOP’s objections to the 2021 law centered on alleged bias and lack of community engagement.
Rep. Tim Geitner, R-Falcon, said children need to learn critical thinking, not media literacy. He also had concerns about a resource bank listed in the bill that he believes may contain material that may be controversial or biased.
There is also no process for the public to weigh up these resources, Geitner said.
Rep. Colin Larson, R-Littleton, advocated changing Geitner, saying most would agree that “we are at a particularly difficult time in our democracy. There are many heated opinions on both sides. Such a thing will be subject to additional scrutiny ”and information in the resource database should be scrutinized as media literacy is likely to evolve over time.
Rep. Janice Rich, R-Grand Junction, added that the public who pays the taxes that run the schools should have a stake in what goes into the resource bank. There is no guarantee that the Ministry of Education will ensure ideological diversity, she said. “It can’t just be about one page.”
“I’m kind of old-school,” said Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs. “More language is always better. People have multiple resources from different angles and we’re all better served. ”But the list in the report is a static list for educators to draw from, he said, of what could be one-sided. Without counter balance, or at least allowing adjustments, “I don’t shop that it’s about media literacy” or that it teaches a point of view, he said, hey
Rep Stephanie Luck, R-Penrose decided the bill needed filing. Reading the bipartisan bill in detail wouldn’t delay things much; it’s only four pages.
However, the accompanying CDE report is 158 pages long and that is what she read to the House.
There was a little grumbling about what was being overheard in the congregation.
Luck made it through 24 pages when Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, put the bill by Friday.