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What is a Seal of Biliteracy? MaFLA Update: March 18, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a Seal of Biliteracy? MaFLA Update: March 18, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a Seal of Biliteracy? MaFLA Update: March 18, 2015

2 How will the Seal reward foreign language and English language learners in Massachusetts and how can it positively impact foreign language programming ?

3 The Seal of Biliteracy… Recognizes graduates for proficiency in English and at least one other foreign language with a seal on the high school diploma.

4 The Seal of Biliteracy… Places the focus on what students can do with the language rather than focusing on how many years they have studied it.

5 The Seal of Biliteracy… Provides evidence to universities and businesses that our students have attained this important 21 st century skill.

6 The Seal is a National Phenomenon  States like New York, California, Minnesota, Illinios, Indiana, Virginia, New Mexico, Washington, Texas and Louisiana have passed Seal legislation.  Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, New Jersey, and MASSACHUSETTS have current Seal legislation being discussed.  Other states are in initial stages of legislative Seal discussion.

7 The Seal is Sweeping the Nation:

8 The MA Seal Bill Didn’t Pass in the Last Legislative Session Problems:  Original lead Sponsor on House side left office  Only 7 Co-Sponsors  Office of Dual Language added costs to bill  Needed to pass through Ways and Means Committee  Legislators hesitant to support DESE Office without DESE support

9 The Seal in New Legislative Session Stand Alone Seal Bill: Lead Sponsors: Representative Kay Khan (Newton) Senator Karen Spilka (Ashland) Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) Bill includes Seal: Lead Sponsors: Representative Jeff Sanchez Senator Sal DiDomenico

10 Collaboration between Organizations to Promote the Seal and Combine Efforts

11 State Collaboration Mimics Historic Collaboration at National Level Imminent Press Release on NABE, TESOL, ACTFL, NCSSFL collaboration to create national document for Seal standards to serve as guidelines for state implementation!

12 Mutually Beneficial Agreement:  Create two bills:  A longer ELL bill that includes the Seal among seven other issues for ELL programming  A stand-alone Seal bill  Use the exact same Seal language in the two bills  Obtain support of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA)  Obtain support of Language Opportunity Coalition Lobbyist Charles Glick

13 Bill Language: An Act to Establish a State Seal of Biliteracy: “The board shall establish the State Seal of Biliteracy to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, writing and listening in one or more languages in addition to English.”

14 Next Steps Legislatively?  Bill filed, January 16, Docket number given.  Co-Sponsors sought and signed on during two week window at start of legislative session.  Bills given Committee organizes and bills divided into themes  Some Committee Chairs set dates for hearings all at once, and some don’t – Education usually sets whole agenda  Everything has to be reported out by March 10, 2016 (of course, we want it faster!)

15 HB 422 and SD SEAL of Biliteracy: 56 Co-Sponsors on House side and 16 Co-Sponsors on Senate side: HB 422, Lead Sponsor, Rep. Kay Khan Tricia Farley Bouvier Brad Hill James Arciero Antonio Cabral Thomas Calter Gail Carridi Marjorie Decker Diana DiZoglio Peter Durant Carolyn Dykema Lori Ehlrich James Eldrige Sean Garballey Colleen Garry Ellen Story Aaron Vega Kenneth Gordon Jonathan Hecht Paul Heroux Mary Keefe Tim Madden Paul McMurtry David Muradian Angelo Puppolo David Rogers Dennis Rosa Jeffrey Roy John Scibak William Galvin Patricia Jehlen Louis Kafka Denise Provost Paul Brodeur Claire Cronin Michael Day Marcos Devers Denise Garlick Susan Williams Gifford Kate Hogan Peter Kocot Barbara L’Italien Chris Walsh John Mahoney Shauna O’Connell Kathleen O’Connor Ives Keiko Orrall Dan Ryan Tom Sannicandro Frank Smizik Thomas Stanley Paul Tucker Brendan Crighton Ryan Fattman Bradley Jones Jason Lewis Timothy Toomey SD 1012, Lead Sponsor, Sen. Karen Spilka Angelo Puppolo Lori Ehrlich Joan Lovely Michael Moore Thomas Calter Carolyn Dykema Sonia Chang-Diaz Thomas McGee Thomas Stanley Kathleen O’Connor Ives Barbara L’Italien Susan Williams Gifford James Arciero Bradley Jones Timothy Toomey Sal DiDominico

16 HB 497 and SB LOOK LEGISLTATION WITH SEAL INCLUDED:43 Co-Sponsors on House side and 11 Co-Sponsors on Senate side: HB498 Lead Sponsor, Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez Linda Dorcena Forry Jason M. Lewis Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr. Colleen M. Garry Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. Marjorie C. Decker Robert M. Koczera Ruth B. Balser Thomas J. Calter Kay Khan John Velis Frank A. Moran Michael D. Brady James B. Eldridge Tom Sannicandro Michelle M. DuBois Barbara L'Italien Daniel M. Donahue Thomas M. Stanley Sean Garballey Evandro Carvalho Marcos A. Devers Paul R. Heroux James Arciero Christine P. Barber Sonia Chang-Diaz Jonathan Hecht James R. Miceli Peter V. Kocot Antonio F. D. Cabral Claire D. Cronin Jennifer E. Benson Benjamin Swan Linda Campbell Chris Walsh John J. Mahoney James J. O'Day Marc R. Pacheco Mary S. Keefe Robert L. Hedlund David M. Rogers Jose F. Tosado Carlos, Gonzalez SB Lead Sponsor Senator Sal DiDomenico

17 Various MA Districts Piloting the Use of A Seal this Year (2015): Melrose, Kim Talbot Winchester, Anna Tirone Wilmington, Carlos Luis Brown North Reading, Wendy Diozzi Andover, Jorge Allen West Bridgewater, Mary Pistorino

18 Our Challenge?  5,300 Bills were filed  Education bills are not a top priority  Only a couple of hundred will go through

19 Our Strengths  Senator Spilka, Lead Sposor of stand-alone Seal bill is the new Ways and Means Chair – powerful position!  No Cost Bill  Active and successful recruitment of Co-Sponsors, support of membership and community  Support of multi-organization effort and national movement

20 What Can You Do?  Prepare your elevator speech and talk to anyone and everyone about how the Seal will positively impact students and programming.  Update your Principal, Superintendent, School Committee and/or Chamber of Commerce about the Seal  Follow Seal progress at  Follow MaFLA updates on the Seal Piloting, they will be encouraged to publish in district newspapers!  If you have a chance, talk to your legislator, especially if he or she is on the co-sponsorship list.

21 What is an Elevator Speech? You have a 1, 5 or 10 minute opportunity to impact someone’s opinion about foreign language programming: How will the Seal help?  Give your name and position (who do you represent?)  Work out the explanation ahead of time so that it is clear and powerful – use data and anecdotes  Connect and engage the listener with a follow up question

22 For More Information: Contact Nicole Sherf, MaFLA Advocacy Coordinator at


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