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California Lawmaker Takes Aim At Fake News

Sacramento, CA — A proposed state bill would require California education leaders to develop and adopt curriculum to help students spot and identify fake news stories.

AB 155, up for debate at the state capitol, was introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez. He states, “Recently, we have seen the corrupting effects of a deliberate propaganda machine driven by fake news. When fake news is repeated, it becomes difficult for the public to discern what’s real. These attempts to mislead readers pose a direct threat to our democracy.”

AB 155 would specifically direct the state’s Instructional Quality Commission to develop a framework to incorporate civic online reasoning for English Language Arts, Mathematics, History, Social Science and Science. It would then be incorporated into high school curriculum. Arguing for the bill, Gomez cites a study by Stanford’s Graduate School of Education showing that the inability to distinguish fake news stories is particularly pronounced among younger people who more tend to accept information as it is presented.