California's school kids struggle to distinguish so-called "fake news" from real news stories, so a state lawmaker wants their teachers to show them how they can tell the difference.
It's not the first time State Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa and Solano Counties) has tried to get media literacy into the Golden State's school curriculum, but he says this time he has a Republican co-author because it's a problem he says is not limited to one party. Dodd says a Stanford study finds 82% of middle schoolers struggled to tell the difference between ads or false stories and actual news. "We need to empower students to get all the facts -- and people to get all the facts for heaven's sake," Dodd says, "and not just listen and believe everything that they read."
Dodd says we already have critical thinking in schools so if he's successful, it'll be up to the state Board of Education to develop the model.
This isn't Senator Dodd's only education priority this session. He's also introduced a bill to provide universal pre-school to all California 4-year-olds, which he says will help the roughly 170,000 children eligible for pre-school you pay for but who aren't in it because there aren't enough spaces.
Dodd says the research shows universal pre-school would generate between $2 and $4 in benefits for every dollar we put into it, the same research he says finds kids in California's transitional kindergarten get higher test scores and have better social skills.