The Commissioner has posted a memo with the revised regulations for the LOOK Act, in preparation for the Board of Education vote on June 26. The Coalition is reviewing the revisions and preparing a statement for the Board.
The memo reports on the number of public comments and meetings that took place during the public comment period:
The Department received public comments from 130 commenters. Most of the comments were from teachers (63 percent), school and district administrators (20.5 percent), and parents and community members (8.3 percent). Faculty and staff of higher education institutions, college students, elected officials, and statewide associations, including the Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC), Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA), and American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts (AFT-MA), also provided written comments regarding the proposed regulations.
In addition, at various points during the public comment process, the Department conducted face-to-face meetings, webinars, and phone conference presentations for EL directors/coordinators, union leadership (AFT-MA, MTA), the Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition leadership, superintendents, assistant superintendents, other directors, and representatives from institutions of higher education. During such meetings and presentations, the Department received input on the proposed regulations and encouraged submission of public comments.
There are substantial revisions to the Seal of Biliteracy regulations, in response to the issues raised in the public comment:
Seal of Biliteracy
- The proposed regulations retain grade 10 ELA MCAS performance as a criterion for demonstrating a high level of proficiency in English, but also add options for students who are required to complete an Educational Proficiency Plan to earn the Competency Determination. Those students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a minimum score or level determined by the Commissioner on a nationally recognized and readily available English proficiency assessment approved by the Department.
- The proposed regulations have been further changed to reflect that the minimum scores or levels on foreign language proficiency assessments must be aligned to higher education standards for awarding advanced credit by examination and ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
- These revised proposed criteria should create additional options for students to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy, and afford former and current English learners more opportunities to demonstrate English proficiency.
- The Department plans to review the criteria as needed to ensure that the award remains consistent with a high level of proficiency as stated in M.G.L. c. 69, § 1Q.
- The Department will, in guidance, establish levels of distinction for the State Seal of Biliteracy.
There are also revisions to the Bilingual Education Endorsement:
Bilingual Education Endorsement
The Department proposes to reduce the number of hours of field-based experience that an educator needs to earn the Bilingual Education Endorsement from 150 hours of field-based experience to 75 hours. The recommendation to reduce the required hours is based upon the limited number of bilingual education programs where prospective candidates for the Bilingual Education Endorsement can obtain field-based experience.
To read the entire memo with summary of all the revisions and view the text of the regulations, see this page:
If you have any comments, leave them below or use the Contact Us form to get in touch with the Coalition.