March 3, 2018
The Honorable Benjamin Allen
Chair, Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2083
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 445-7799
Re: Senate Bill 830 (Dodd): Media Literacy Education
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Allen,
On behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, I am writing to express support for SB 830. SB 830 (Dodd) would require the Board of Education to adopt a model curriculum for media-related literacy education for social science curricula, and also require the Department to upload to and maintain on its Internet Web site a list of relevant resources and materials on media literacy, and to ensure that media literacy training opportunities are made available for professional development.
In our most recent Presidential election, the prevalence of fake news garnered national attention, where false and misleading stories from hoax websites outperformed legitimate news stories significantly in terms of social media engagement.
The flood of social media content can make it difficult for the public to differentiate between informational news sources and false or misleading claims. In recent years, on social media, the practice of advertisements impersonating news has also seen an increase.
Recent studies show that two-thirds of American adults use social networking sites, and the use of social media is ubiquitous among the youngest adults, with over 90 percent of young men and women using social media. Social implications of technological developments are pervasive, and the influence of digital media platforms will continue to evolve and expand.
A recent Stanford study shows 82 percent of middle school students struggle to distinguish news stories from advertisements. It is imperative that our state’s education standards reflect the need for increased media literacy, so that young adults have the ability to analyze and interpret information consumed from countless media outlets.
For the reasons stated, pediatricians across the state urge you to vote AYE on SB 830 (Dodd). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Mona Patel, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Co-Chair, State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senate Education Committee Members
Office of Honorable Bill Dodd, California State Senate (Author)
Kris Calvin, AAP-CA CEO; Lydia Bourne, AAP-CA Lobbyist