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

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.

House Passes LOOK Bill

Language Opportunity Sketch_1.16June 7, 2017 – The Language Opportunity Coalition applauds the Massachusetts House of Representatives for passage of legislation that brings meaningful reform to our education system for the way we teach English learners. The legislation passed today by the House will make important changes to the laws that govern educators in Massachusetts, giving school districts increased flexibility to make sure that the English language instruction programs they offer are those that work best for their district’s students. We are grateful to the Speaker and House leadership for prioritizing these important changes so early in the legislative session.

While no legislation is perfect, we firmly believe that the House passed language takes a critical first step in addressing the issues of our current system.  We look forward to working with members of the Senate as this legislation now moves on to their branch.

We are truly grateful to the leadership of the Speaker, the Education Chair and Education Committee, and our legislative champions Representative Jeffery Sanchez and Representative Tony Cabral for taking such a strong stance on this critical issue and ensuring that English Language Learner reform is one of the first issues the legislature tackles this legislative session.

LOOK Bill Advances with Seal of Biliteracy

Language Opportunity Sketch_1.16April 18, 2017: The LOOK Bill — H.3705/S.2070 An Act for language opportunity for our kids — was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Education and and referred to the House & Senate Committees on Ways and Means.

The LOOK Bill removes the restrictive mandate requiring Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) as the “one size fits all” default English Language Learner (ELL) program model, and gives school districts the flexibility to establish programs based on the educational needs of their students. It also establishes a state Seal of Biliteracy.

Find out more…

Mass Senate unanimously passes the LOOK Bill

LO-Header-3-6Today the Massachusetts Senate passed S.2395 An Act for language opportunity for our kids – the “LOOK bill” – by a unanimous vote.

The LOOK bill gives school districts the flexibility to choose high-quality, research-based programs to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) and establishes the State Seal of Biliteracy to recognize high school graduates who speak, read, and write in two languages, a valuable asset in the 21st century global economy. View the LOOK Bill Fact Sheet …

We thank our Senators for supporting the educational needs of English learners in Massachusetts, and especially Sen. Sal DiDomenico, the bill sponsor; Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, c0-chair of the Joint Committee on Education; and Sen. Karen Spilka for their leadership and dedication on this issue.

The bill is still under consideration by the House.

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

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: