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:

Different Programs for Different Contexts

A new report from Education Commission of the States on State Level English Language Learner Policies examines issues of finance, identification of ELLs, educator quality, and more.

In the section on recognizing the implications of different ELL program approaches, the report states:

State leaders should recognize that different programs will be effective in different contexts. For example, rural school districts with few ELLs and urban districts with high concentrations of ELLs will need different program approaches. Likewise, long-term ELLs, students exiting ELL programs in the early grades and ELLs with interrupted education, for example, all need different kinds of supports and services.

From Education Commission of the States: State Level English Language Learner Policies