Massachusetts is moving to beef up its civics education requirements in a bill that would require, for the first time, that media literacy be a part of the history and social studies frameworks. The Education Committee has combined a number of civics bills with our media literacy bill into a new legislative package know as S2306, and sent the package on to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Over the past few years, there has been renewed attention around a decline in civics lessons in education. Many states are considering new civics requirements to ensure that schools are meeting their mission to prepare students for citizenship in a democracy.
This action by the Education Committee signals lawmakers’ intention that the Department of Education place a greater priority on media literacy instruction.
The bill would make Massachusetts a leader among those states with its recognition that media literacy, the literacy of the 21st century, is essential to citizenship, and therefore media literacy is an essential part of civics, history and social studies instruction.