State Seal of Biliteracy Update

From English Learner Education Updates, presentation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, October 30, 2018, slides 9-12

The Department is finalizing guidance for the Seal of Biliteracy, but it has not yet been released. Please check the DESE website for updates and more information: 

The State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who have attained a high level of  proficiency in English and a foreign language beginning with the graduating class of 2019.

Two tiers of the Seal:

  • The State Seal of Biliteracy
  • The State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction

State Seal of Biliteracy

English Criteria:

  • Meets all graduation requirements; AND
  • Meets the English Language Arts requirement of the Competency Determination;
  • Students who are required to complete an Educational Proficiency Plan to satisfy
    the requirements of the Competency Determination must attain a minimum score
    of 240 on the MCAS retake or a composite score of 4.2 on ACCESS* English
    Language Development test.  *English Learners only.

Foreign Language Criteria:

State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction

English Language Arts Criteria:

  • Students must meet or exceed a scaled score of 260 (Advanced) on the current grade 10 version of ELA MCAS.

Foreign Language Criteria:

Coalition Presents at MASC/MASS Conference

MASC-Presentation-Nov18Coalition 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.

Statement on the Criteria for the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy

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