NewsGuard in the classroom?
California's leftist legislators have passed a new measure to introduce something called "media literacy" in the public school classrooms.
What could go wrong?
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Beginning next year, California's public school students will be required to take media literacy courses that will help them identify fake news posted online while also being able to tell the difference between legitimate news articles and paid advertising.
The new instruction will slowly be integrated into the curriculum of students from kindergarten through high school under Assembly Bill 873, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October. Media literacy content will be included in English language arts, mathematics, science, history and social science curriculums.
The law was necessitated by young people's growing reliance on the internet and social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram and X, for news and information, Berman said. Texas, New Jersey and Delaware have also passed strong media literacy laws, according to Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit research organization
“Teaching media literacy is a key strategy to support our children, their families, and our society that are inundated with misinformation and disinformation on social media networks and digital platforms,” said Berman. “We have a responsibility to teach the next generation to be more critical consumers of online content and more guarded against misinformation, propaganda, and conspiracy theories."
Sounds fine and dandy given the younger generation's interest in TikTok, but get a load of what they really mean by that, down in the last paragraph of the story:
"As we've seen too often in the last decade, what happens online can have the most terrifying of real-world impacts,” Berman said. “From climate denial to vaccine conspiracy theories to the Jan. 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol, the spread of online misinformation has had global and deadly consequences.”
So what this really about is propagandizing unsuspecting children into leftist certitudes, and of course, suppressing any voice that may be skeptical of COVID vaccines, global warming, or stolen elections. Anyone who does that will be labeled 'disinformation' and 'fake news' and now the kiddies are going to be taught that.
Sound like the First Amendment is still operational here?
What's disgusting about this whole idea is that these schools can't teach kids to be 'critical consumers' of anything. They don't teach critical thinking the way they used to, so the result is just whatever the political "narrative-makers" say is true is truth. They can go like the CDC or Dr. Anthony Fauci switching their positions again and again -- about masks, the value of lockdowns, vaccines - possibly dependent on corporate revolving-door interests and kids will be taught that that's the only truth. They quit teaching critical thinking and the liberal arts years ago. Now all that's left is their plan for creating "critical consumers" of whatever the liberal tripe in the news is. Real news, innovation and skepticism will all be dismissed as fake news and conspiracy theories, the way various partisan "fact-checking" outlets, such as Media Matters and NewsGuard put their seals of approval on or else blacklist
One wonders if this new measure might just have something to do with a creepy forged alliance announced in early 2022 by the National Federation of Teachers with NewsGuard.
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers has launched a national partnership with a leading anti-misinformation tool NewsGuard to protect and champion legitimate journalism and fact-based reporting and to help educators and their students navigate a sea of online disinformation.
Under the terms of the pathbreaking licensing agreement, coinciding with National News Literacy Week, the AFT’s 1.7 million members, tens of millions of kids they teach, and their families, can now receive free, real-time “traffic light” news ratings and detailed “Nutrition Label” reviews, via a licensed copy of NewsGuard’s browser extension, whenever they search the web for news and information.
For years, educators have fought battles against suspect sourcing, with their students often misled by dubious outlets and spam sites posing as “news.” NewsGuard offers a practical solution, alerting students and educators to those sites while also providing a valuable lesson in media literacy.
NewGuard, of course, is just Media Matters in a business suit with brushed teeth minus the halitosis. They bill themselves as apolitical, but we have seen the kinds of partisan inquiries they have directed at American Thinker and looked at these clowns' resumes and know very well that they are all as far-left and partisan in their aims as the unscrupulous weasels at Media Matters, which is currently under investigation by the Texas attorney general for unethical activities.
Now we learn of this unusual interest that Randi Weingarten's teachers' union has in expanding the hand of NewsGuard to the point where it becomes the propaganda arm of the school system, telling kids who dare read a conservative outlet that they are filling their minds with junk food or poison. Anyone questioning the COVID vaccine or the value of lockdowns or the fairness of elections, no matter what the facts are, will be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist by all these new "critical consumers" of news taught by NewsGuard.
If they want to keep kids away from TikTok and all its bin Laden worship, that's pretty easy to do -- uninstall the app and say 'no TikTok on school grounds.
But they let the cat out of the bag that their real agenda was squelching inquiry about the 2020 election, global warming, lockdowns, and other Democrat shibboleths, all things NewsGuard has the censorship bug in it to put a stop to.
This is a license for leftist propaganda in schools and one more reason to pull innocent kids out of schools before they head off to the next poster-ripping session for Israel's kidnapped, disrupt Jewish students studying in libraries, or wrap themselves in the Palestinian flag.
This isn't about critical consuming of news, which could be achieved by taking the time to teach kids critical thinking. It's about left-wing propaganda, in ever more insidious forms.
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License