In other legislative education news on this busy Thursday, the New Jersey Assembly Education Committee released a bill (full text below) that adds “information literacy” to the State Student Learning Standards. The bill proposes that all students learn to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information, whether it be digital, visual, media, textual, or technological. A version of the bill was already passed by the State Senate.
Via Politico (behind a paywall):
“It’s important for us to be able to make those distinctions. Otherwise, the students in K to 12 education today are going to turn into those adults who use NyQuil to marinate their chicken,” Olga Polites, leader of the New Jersey chapter of the advocacy group Media Literacy Now testified Thursday, referencing a dangerous social media trend.
At the hearing, three parents loudly criticized the bill. They represent a group called Protect Your Children, which opposes students learning about the historical contributions of LGBTQ individuals, diversity and inclusion, and sex education. While they don’t mind students learning about 9/11, they don’t want teachers to instruct students about the January 6th insurrection, Black Lives Matter, and what “one parent called ‘LGB events.'”
(Perhaps they need some information literacy.)
An ACT concerning the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
As used in this act, the term “information literacy” means a set of skills that enables an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Information literacy includes, but is not limited to, digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy.
The State Board of Education shall adopt New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the separate content area of Information Literacy. The content area of Information Literacy shall include instruction on, at a minimum:
(1) the research process and how information is created and produced;
(2) critical thinking and using information resources;
(3) research methods, including the difference between primary and secondary sources;
(4) the difference between facts, points of view, and opinions;
(5) accessing peer-reviewed print and digital library resources;
(6) the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information; and
(7) the ethical production of information.
The State board shall convene a committee comprised of educators, the majority of which shall include certified school library media specialists, as well as teachers across a broad spectrum of subject areas, and Department of Education personnel to develop New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the separate content area of Information Literacy. The committee shall engage experts to review the standards it develops.
Prior to adopting New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the separate content area of Information Literacy, the State board shall conduct at least one public hearing in the northern part of the State, at least one public hearing in the central part of the State, and at least one public hearing in the Southern part of the State for the purpose of permitting the public to comment on the rigor, clarity, and reasonableness of the standards developed by the committee.
This act shall take effect immediately