Language Opportunity Coalition Named Nonprofit Excellence Award Finalist

Boston, MA (May 3, 2018) The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) is pleased to announce that the Language Opportunity Coalition has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Award in Advocacy. The Excellence Awards will be presented at MNN’s annual celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence presented by Citizens Bank, a statewide holiday that highlights the work of the nonprofit sector and raises awareness of causes throughout Massachusetts presented by Citizens Bank, at the Massachusetts State House on Monday, June 4. Continue reading

Statement Opposing Proposed State Seal of Biliteracy Regulations

The Language Opportunity Coalition strongly objects to the proposed regulation 603 CMR 31.07 that establishes the award criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy. We ask the Board of Education not to approve the regulation in the current form.

  1. Seal-of-Biliteracy-LogoThe proposed award criteria do not follow national guidelines for proficiency levels for the Seal of Biliteracy.
  2. The proposed award criteria for English proficiency based solely on 10th grade ELA MCAS scores will inequitably exclude English learners, former English learners, and other students.
  3. The proposed award criteria do not allow English Learners the same amount of time to develop language proficiency as world language learners: Proficiency in English has to be demonstrated in 10th grade, while proficiency in a world language does not need to be demonstrated until 12th grade.
  4. The proposed award criteria do not implement the multi-tiered award structure developed by the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project to promote and reward long term and sustained language study.

The award criteria defined for the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project (2014-18) were designed to be a motivational and inclusive award that recognizes the language attainment of as many students as possible. Our goal in supporting establishment of the Seal of Biliteracy is to 1) support and reward long-term and sustained language study of English, native languages, and world languages, and 2) recognize and reward the linguistic assets that multilingual students bring to our schools. The proposed regulations will exclude many students, especially students whose native language is not English.

The LOOK Act requires that the Department consider national standards and the local work of the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project in developing criteria for the award. Massachusetts is in a unique position because we can learn both from the local three-year Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project and from emerging research on implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy nationally. We ask that the Department consult with the Language Opportunity Coalition and members of the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project to revise the regulations to ensure equity and opportunity for all students pursuing language study.

View the Coalition’s full public comment submission on the LOOK Act regulations, including the Seal of Biliteracy.

Comment is open on the proposed regulations until May 18. See these links to give public comment.

Webinar: How to provide input on proposed LOOK Act regulations

The public comment period is open on the proposed regulations for the LOOK Act. The proposed changes include the proposal requirement for establishing an alternative EL program, EL Parent Advisory Councils, criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy, draft requirements for the Bilingual Education Endorsement, and SEI Endorsement for Vocational Technical teachers and changes to voc-tech licensure requirements. It is important that educators of English learners provide input. This webinar will give an overview of the new regulations and provide instructions on how to comment.

Presented by the Language Opportunity Coalition and MTA

WEBINAR
LOOK Act Regulations – Public Comment 101: How to provide input on proposed regulations
Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 4:00 PM

View/print the the webinar slides (pdf)

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Public Comment on the LOOK Act

The public comment period on the LOOK Act is open until May 18. The proposed changes include the proposal requirement for establishing an alternative EL program, EL Parent Advisory Councils, criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy, requirements for the Bilingual Education Endorsement, and SEI Endorsement for Vocational Technical teachers and changes to voc-tech licensure requirements.

We urge all stakeholders to review the proposed regulations and comment!

Note: Public comments are public documents. All submitted comments can be, and are often, released to the public. Avoid using professional title, organization or affiliation
unless you have approval.

Language Opportunity Coalition Statements
How to Submit Public Comment
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Resources:

What’s in the new English Learner education law?

legislation-bannerBill H.4032 An Act relative to language opportunity for our kids (LOOK) passed in the legislature on November 15, and was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 22, 2017. Given the intense interest in the new law we are providing this quick overview to our members.

Note: This is not intended to be a complete or formal legal statutory analysis. Provisions of the law are subject to regulations and guidance created by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Summary: View summary of the LOOK Bill

You can also read the bill online: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H4032

Coalition celebrates a victory for students across Mass.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2017

Massachusetts State HouseBOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature tonight approved the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, greatly expanding options for English learners in the Commonwealth’s public schools and creating a new Seal of Biliteracy that will help students compete in the global economy. The bill goes next to the Governor for signature. Continue reading