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
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.
Resources for parents in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to give public comment on the LOOK Act, from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- English LOOK Act Fact Sheet for Parents
- Spanish LOOK Act Fact Sheet for Parents
- Portuguese LOOK Act FACT Sheet for Parents
- Memo from Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson: Proposed LOOK Act Regulations Mar_2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2017
BOSTON – 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
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)
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
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
There 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.
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.
April 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.
Thirteen states now offer a “seal of biliteracy,” and at least 10 more are working toward implementing a similar award. Students in nine of the nation’s 10 largest school systems can earn statewide or district-level recognition with the seal affixed to their diplomas or transcripts as official proof that they can speak, read, and write in more than one language.
Education Week: More States and Districts Embrace Biliteracy