Media Literacy Now, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has advocated for statewide and national policies that ensure all K-12 students learn these essential 21st-century literacy skills. Ideally, all school districts would incorporate media literacy into all subjects at all grade levels. However, there are a number of potential policy approaches that will help us arrive at this ideal.
- Statutory laws mandating media literacy teaching in schools. Some state legislators are seeking to mandate media literacy lessons in schools – in some grade levels or at all grade levels– either as a standalone subject or incorporated into subject areas. In other approaches, state legislators seek a partial media literacy mandate in the form of social media literacy, digital citizenship, information literacy, news literacy, or another form of media literacy.
- Education standards. Media literacy education is being explicitly added to education curricular standards or frameworks for multiple subjects, including social studies, civics, science, health, technology, financial literacy, and English/Language Arts. This can be as a result of state legislative mandate or regulatory change.
- Funding. Washington, New Hampshire, and New Mexico are examples of states in which the legislature has appropriated funds for teacher training, statewide conferences, state-level coordinators, or directly for new projects initiated by schools or teachers.
- Instructional resource recommendations. Some states review instructional resources, showcase resources they believe are especially well-aligned with the state education standards, and make those resources conveniently available to schools and teachers.
- Other policies. Examples of laws or regulations include requiring professional development or pre-service teacher or librarian training or certification; hiring a media specialist in every school who is trained in media literacy pedagogy; or evaluating media literacy learning in schools.
- Local policies: School boards and administrators can adopt policies requiring media literacy.