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
Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project
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.
- The proposed award criteria do not follow national guidelines for proficiency levels for the Seal of Biliteracy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Origins of the Seal of Biliteracy
Curious about the history and origins of the Seal of Biliteracy? This podcast describes the development of the Seal of Biliteracy in California and how the initiative spread across the country (including Massachusetts). Continue reading
Watch: Seal of Biliteracy Webinar
This webinar gives an introduction of the national Seal of Biliteracy movement and an overview of the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project, including the updated resources and experience gained from the third year of the pilot. (Recorded Oct 10, 2017) Continue reading
Updated Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit
The revised Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit is now available for download!
The toolkit was revised and updated with input from schools that participated in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project during the 2016-17 school year. The revised toolkit includes new resources for use in implementing the Seal of Biliteracy:
- Additional models and examples of rubrics, portfolios and more
- Updated table to elaborate on testing instruments for levels of award
- Options for determining Seal award using testing in first years of implementation
- Expanded FAQ section
- List of Workgroup participants in the three years of the pilot
Link to download: Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit – Sep 2017 Revision (no longer online — see the updated Toolkit at www.SealofBiliteracyMA.org)
Webinar: The Seal of Biliteracy in Massachusetts
Please join us for a complimentary Webinar on the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot implementation in Massachusetts (now in its third year). The webinar will discuss the creation of resources and supports for use by school districts, and an update on the legislative status of the state Seal of Biliteracy bill. The webinar is presented by MaFLA, MABE, MATSOL and the Language Opportunity Coalition.
The Seal of Biliteracy is a national movement to document and reward students for attaining biliteracy in two or more languages. Twenty seven states currently have enacted Seal of Biliteracy legislation and we hope MA will be next! Continue reading
2017-18 Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project Update
56 schools or school districts are currently participating in the third year of the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.
- 2016: 10 schools/districts made over 300 awards.
- 2017: 17 schools/districts made over 900 awards.
The remaining schools/districts are in the planning and implementation stages of the pilot. The next awards will be made at the end of the school year in 2018. Continue reading
Brockton adopts Seal of Biliteracy
BROCKTON – Brockton High School is full of students whose families speak two or even three languages, and now those students will be able to leverage their bilingualism toward certified biliteracy.
This year, Brockton became only the eighth school district in Massachusetts to offer a pilot biliteracy program that helps students earn a Seal of Biliteracy.
Students who complete program requirements will have a seal marked on their high school transcript or diploma, signifying their ability to read, write, and speak proficiently in another language. Read more…
Brockton Enterprise: Brockton students can earn multi-language stamp of approval
2016 Seal of Biliteracy Awards
The first Seal of Biliteracy Awards were presented in Massachusetts in the spring of 2016 by schools and school districts participating in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.
300+ Award Recipients
- 19 Platinum Seal of Biliteracy (Advanced-Low)
- 55 Gold Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-High)
- 208 Silver Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-Mid)
- 32 Biliteracy Attainment Award (Intermediate-Low)
8 School Districts
- Andover, Arlington, Boston, Falmouth, Framingham, Melrose, Wilmington, and Winchester, Massachusetts
11 Language Learning Programs
- Middle and high school World Language programs.
- Elementary and middle school Two-Way Immersion (TWI) and Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs.
Data collected by the Language Opportunity Coalition.
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