We request urgent action to change the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy criteria for English language proficiency so that graduating seniors in the class of 2022 have the opportunity to earn the award. The criteria is based on the 10th grade ELA MCAS exam, which was cancelled in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, depriving students in the Class of 2022 the opportunity to earn the award.
Massachusetts schools can create a road map for language learning with Biliteracy Pathway Awards!
The Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Biliteracy Pathway Awards are designed to encourage long-term language study by recognizing and rewarding language learning in elementary, middle and high school. The awards can be given in addition to the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, an award for graduating high school seniors.
The pathway awards were originally developed during the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot, which operated from 2016-18 before passage of the LOOK Act. The LOC is continuing to support the awards and provide resources for implementation.
LOC Biliteracy Pathway Award levels:
- LOC Biliteracy Participation Award (ACTFL Novice-High): For preschool and elementary school Students & students with disabilities (all grades).
- LOC Biliteracy Attainment Award (ACTFL Intermediate-Low): For elementary & middle school students.
- LOC Biliteracy Achievement Award (ACTFL Intermediate-Mid): For middle and high school students.
Find out more at SealOfBiliteracyMA.org
The site has information on the LOC’s Biliteracy Pathway Awards, a compliment to the State Seal of Biliteracy for students at lower grade and proficiency levels, as well as implementation resources for both the state and LOC awards.
Check it out at https://sealofbiliteracyma.org/
Coalition members Helen Solorzano, Nicole Sherf, Phyllis Hardy & Kim Talbot presented to superintendents and school committee members on the LOOK Act and Seal of Biliteracy at the 2018 MASS/MASC Joint Conference.
In the session Opportunities for Dual Language Education: The MA LOOK Act, we reviewed provisions in the LOOK Act related to establishing new English Learner programs and discussed considerations and processes for starting new dual language programs. In The MA Seal of Biliteracy: From Pilot to Law to Practice, we introduced the audience to the Seal of Biliteracy and discussed data from the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.
We appreciated the opportunity to present at the conference and hope to continue collaborating with MASC and MASS in the future.
November 2, 2018
The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced his decision regarding the levels and criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy, establishing a two tiered award, the Seal of Biliteracy and the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction, starting at a minimum of Intermediate-High level of the ACTFL proficiency guidelines for world languages. Continue reading
The Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project was coordinated by the Language Opportunity Coalition for three years from the 2015-16 school year through June 2018*. Participating schools and school districts followed the Coalition’s guidelines for the award, which were developed by Massachusetts educators based the national Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy and practices in other states. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
June 4, 2018 — Four Massachusetts nonprofits and two nonprofit leaders today were cited as role models for the sector when they were named Nonprofit Excellence Award winners at a State House event in connection with Nonprofit Awareness Day, a 10-year-old statewide celebration of the contributions of Massachusetts nonprofits.
The Language Opportunity Coalition has released additional comments on the proposed LOOK Act regulations:
- Placement of Students in English Learner Programs 603 CMR 14.04
- Parent Advisory Councils 603 CMR 14.09
- Bilingual Education Endorsement 603 CMR 17.04
- Vocational Technical Education – SEI Teacher Endorsement
View the Coalition’s full public comment submission on the LOOK Act regulations, including our statement opposing the Seal of Biliteracy regulations.
Public comment is open until Friday, May 18!
See instructions for how to submit public comment on the regulations.
Resources for parents in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to give public comment on the LOOK Act, from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- English LOOK Act Fact Sheet for Parents
- Spanish LOOK Act Fact Sheet for Parents
- Portuguese LOOK Act FACT Sheet for Parents
- Memo from Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson: Proposed LOOK Act Regulations Mar_2018