Language Opportunity Coalition Honored for Advocacy

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 awards were selected and announced by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), the state’s nonprofit trade association, to a gathering of 250 nonprofit and business leaders.

Leading up to the event, MNN coordinated a social media campaign, called #MAkingadifference, during which organizations, using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, shared pictures, stories, and statistics to communicate the breadth and depth of the state’s nonprofit sector.

Receiving the awards were the following:

  • Excellence in Advocacy – Language Opportunity Coalition, Boston, founded in 2014 to increase language learning opportunities for learning English, native, heritage, and world languages, and to ensure that all learners have equal access to a high quality education and professional opportunities.

Read more from Mass Nonprofit Network…

On hand to receive the award on behalf of the coalition were steering committee members Nicole Sherf (MaFLA), Phyllis Hardy (MABE), and Helen Solorzano (MATSOL). In her remarks, Helen Solorzano thanked Mass Nonprofit Network for the honor, and urged members of the nonprofit community to promote multilingualism in Massachusetts by supporting the expansion of language education in schools under the LOOK Act and looking for the Seal of Biliteracy on job candidates’ resumes.

Our coalition also congratulates the all finalists for the Excellence Awards, and especially our colleagues in the Advocacy category: Jett FoundationNew England Hemophilia Association, and Samaritans.  It was very moving to receive this recognition in the company of so many other impressive nonprofit organizations and leaders.

Demand for Bilingual Workers Grows

From The Boston Globe – 
ryan_oulhadj3_bizHelp wanted: people who can speak more than one language.

Even as the Trump administration seeks to limit immigration, employers are increasingly looking to woo immigrants as consumers — and employees.

Banks and cellphone providers are hiring employees who can communicate with potential customers in their native tongues. Software firms are seeking out translators and customer service representatives who can help them build their business around the world. And health care providers looking to serve the immigrants in their communities, as well as patients traveling to the United States for medical care, are beefing up their staffs with people who can understand, and convey, their concerns…

Read the article at The Boston Globe: Which job seekers are in hot demand? Bilingual workers

Lawmakers must act to correct flaws in how we teach English learners

Letter to the Editor in support of the LOOK Bill and Seal of Biliteracy Bill from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education professor Anne Homza:

I know of no educational research or theory that supports the state’s restrictive, one-size-fits-all sheltered-English approach. In fact, there is no evidence that such a broad yet singular approach to learning would be appropriate for the education of any subgroup of students. The fact that such an approach has been applied to the subgroup of students who happen to come to school with proficiency in a language other than English is highly discriminatory.

The Boston Globe (July 17, 2015): Lawmakers must act to correct flaws in how we teach English learners

Boston Globe editorial urges bilingual education for Boston schools

A Boston Globe editorial on July 13, 2015 urges superintendent Chang to increase bilingual and dual language education in Boston Public Schools:

When it comes to educating the surging immigrant population in Boston, many in educational and political circles ignore the evidence of failure all around them. The achievement gap for so-called English-language learners — students enrolled in school but without English proficiency — promises to haunt Boston for a generation unless the ineffective and highly unsuccessful English immersion mandate is reversed. The Boston Public Schools continue to watch these students fall through the cracks. Their dropout rates are consistently higher, and they have among the lowest MCAS scores in the city. Saving more of these students from a life without meaningful educational achievement stands as one of the signal challenges for new superintendent Tommy Chang. Read more…

The Boston Globe: Bring back bilingual education for Boston schools

LOOK Bill – Letters to the Editor

Two Letters to the Editor were published in The Boston Globe in support of the March 31 Globe editorial on the LOOK Bill:

Boston Globe Editorial Supports the LOOK Bill

A Boston Globe editorial endorses the LOOK Bill filed by Rep. Sánchez and Sen. DiDomenico:

… the solution may lie beyond the Boston school system — more specifically, on Beacon Hill. Massachusetts’ school districts have been restricted in the way they teach English learners since 2002, when a ballot question crippled bilingual education. Districts were required to use “Sheltered English Immersion,” a method that focuses on teaching academic content in English, limiting the help students can receive in their native language…

… Sánchez’s bill represents the best opportunity to offer better instruction for students learning English — and a chance at a better educational future.