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).

America the Bilingual Podcast – Episode 15: Sealed con un Beso

Seal-of-Biliteracy-LogoHe was rich, persuasive — and wrong. But Ron Unz succeeded in leading our most populous state down a dark path in the history of language education. Fortunately, his very success planted the seeds of change that are yielding a harvest of good in the nation today. Hear the origin story of the Seal of Biliteracy, which began in California and is now transforming America.

Something new in America: honoring bilingualism

The Seal of Biliteracy is a seal that high school seniors can earn on their diplomas and transcripts after demonstrating written and oral proficiency in English plus another language. In the five years since its creation in California, the Seal of Biliteracy has been adopted by a majority of US states.

The organization behind the innovation is Californians Together. Says Executive Director Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, “This is a not-very-labor-intensive reform movement that has captured the imagination and spread in a way that other education reform initiatives have not.”

Source: America the Bilingual: Episode 15: Sealed con un Beso

Hear the Story: Listen on iTunes by clicking here: America the Bilingual by Steve Leveen on iTunes or on SoundCloud here.

America the Bilingual is a storytelling podcast for people who think bilingualism is good for themselves, for their families, and for their country.  It is part of the Lead with Languages campaign of ACTFL — The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

 

Updated Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit

Seal-of-Biliteracy-LogoThe 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

 

 

 

Webinar: The Seal of Biliteracy in Massachusetts

seal20medallions20final1Please 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!

When?  October 10, 2018, from 6PM to 7PM

What?  The webinar will give an introduction of the national Seal of Biliteracy movement; an overview of the implementation in Massachusetts, including all the resources and experience gained from the third year of the pilot; and an update on the legislative status of the state Seal of Biliteracy bill.

How?  Register for Seal of Biliteracy Webinar on Oct 10, 2017 6:00 PM EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6187007290462504450

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Who?  Anyone who is interested is welcome to join us!

Presented by the Language Opportunity Coalition.

2017-18 Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project Update

Seal-of-Biliteracy-Logo56 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.

Find out more about the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project! The project is coordinated by the Language Opportunity Coalition.

School Districts/Schools

* Awards made starting Spring 2016
**  Awards made starting Spring 2017

Acton/Boxboro
Andover**
Arlington**
Barnstable
Boston Public Schools**
Brockton*
Bulgarina School in Boston
Burlington
Cambridge/Amigos School
Cape Cod Academy
Chelsea*
Dennis
Duxbury
Falmouth**
Foxboro
Framingham**
Haverhill
Hingham
Holliston
Holyoke
Leominster
Lunnenberg
Marlboro/Massachusetts International Academy
Martha’s Vineyard
Mashpee
Melrose**
Mendon/Upton
Middleboro
Milford
Millis
Natick
Newton*
North Middlesex Regional
Northboro-Southboro
Norwood*
Ogunquit
Pioneer Valley Charter School
Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion School
Pioneer Valley Regional School*
Pittsfield*
Salem State University*
Saugus
Sharon
Somerville
UP Education Network
Waltham
Watertown
Wayland*
Wellesley
Westboro
Westwood*
Wilmington/High School**
Winchester**
Worcester
Wouburn
Yarmouth

In some school districts, the pilot began in individual schools before being implemented at the district level.

LOOK bill sent to conference committee

The LOOK Bill passed the House on June 7, 2017 in a vote of 152-2, and passed by the Senate unanimously on July 27. The two versions of the bill were referred to conference committee and the following legislators were appointed to the committee: Rep. Alice Peisch, House co-chair of the Education Committee, Rep. Frank Moran and Rep. Kimberly Ferguson, along with Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, Senate co-chair of the Education Committee, Sen. Sal DiDomenico, and Sen. Patrick O’Connor.

Seal of Biliteracy Hearing

Seal-of-Biliteracy-LogoThere will be a hearing on the Seal of Biliteracy bills before the Joint Committee of Education Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 10 am, Room A2  at the Massachusetts State House,

Be prepared to testify on behalf of …

  • S.311 An Act to promote global trade and economic development through biliteracy (Sponsor: Senator Karen Spilka)
  • H.285 An Act to promote global trade and economic development through biliteracy (Sponsor: Representative Kay Khan)
  • H.2045 An Act relative to the state seal of biliteracy (Sponsor: Representative Bradley Jones)

We are seeking testimony in favor of the bills, either in person or in writing. Submit written testimony to the committee co-chairs:

  • Representative Alice Peisch: Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov
  • Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz: Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov

GUIDANCE FOR ORAL TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials that tell a story about individuals are very powerful. Focus on what you know and care about. Think about what you know and have experienced and present your concerns and ideas for better solutions. (Possible Topics: Pathway Awards, Seal of Bilitearcy Pilot experience, personal experience learning a second language, personal experience using two or more languages in your job or career, personal experience as a student in a language learning program.) You have so much to offer policy conversations without having to be a data or policy expert. Plan to speak for no more than 3 minutes.

GUIDANCE FOR WRITTEN TESTIMONY

You can submit written testimony to the Chairs of the committee and cc: your State Senator and State Representative. Here is the list of names for the Joint Education Committee Chairs and members. Bring a written copy of our testimony to leave with the committee, as well. You can bring just one copy of testimony, and the staff will make copies for the Committee files, or you can bring enough for all committee members (~20) if you prefer. You can bring other visual handouts to attach with your testimony, too.

  • Limit the text to 1.5 pages
  • Include your name, address, where you work or study, what you do for work,
  • State “I am ….
  • State I am in favor of the bill S311, H285, H 2045 and this is why.
  • Pick one action point listed in the Seal of Biliteracy Talking Points and speak to that.
  • State “I recommend that bill S311, H285, H 2045 should be passed.

RESOURCES

See the Seal of Biliteracy page for resources and fact sheets.

LET US KNOW YOU ARE TESTIFYING

Please use the Contact Us page if you plan to testify or send testimony, and send us an electronic copy of your testimony so that we can post them on the Coalition blog site.