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Advocacy in Arlington, Massachusetts

Arlington teachers participated actively in the recent ACTFL Convention in Boston.  See how they promoted their attendance:  http://arlingtonworldlanguages.blogspot.com

 

Seal of Biliteracy – Second Year of Pilot!

Want to know information about the Second Year of the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot?
Click here to learn more.

Seal of Biliteracy Update!

Seal-of-Biliteracy-LogoThe Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates for proficiency in English and at least one other foreign language with a seal on the high school diploma. The exciting component of the Seal is that it places the focus on what students can do with the language rather than focusing on seat time. It also provides evidence to universities and businesses that our students have attained this crucial twenty-first century skill. Currently sixteen states nationally have adopted state Seal legislation and we want Massachusetts to be next!

Work is still being undertaken by the Language Opportunity Coalition to pass the Seal of Biliteracy.  Read the August Legislative Update HERE.

Seal Workgroup Overseeing MA Pilot in More than 30 Districts

Concurrently with the legislative efforts, MaFLA is very involved in outlining the tiers of Seal awards for districts to use within the various levels and types of programming from Preschool through College level. To that end, certificates for the Seal are the first level to be given at the elementary level where immersion, dual language or FLES programming is available. The idea is to have students document their proficiency through portfolios and other tasks at that level. In the middle, high school and college levels a three tiered Seal would be available to those students who document the acceptable level of English through MCAS and foreign language: a Silver Seal for those who document Intermediate Mid proficiency, a Gold Seal for those with Intermediate High proficiency and a Platinum Seal for those with Advanced Low. The Seal Workgroup is delineating the list of acceptable tests in the variety of languages to maintain the integrity of proficiency focus of the Seal. The Seal Workgroup is creating a TOOLKIT for the Seal to help districts implement the Seal as well as a promotional PowerPoint that you can adapt for your needs to promote and provide information on the Seal in your district. See the results of the 2015-16 Seal of Biliteracy Pilot in MA.

If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Sherf, MaFLA’s Advocacy Coordinator, at advocacy@mafla.org

Want to Know More About the Seal?

  • Read the ACTFL/NABE/TESOL/NCSSFL Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy.  Aligned with this collaboration, MaFLA, working with MABE and MATSOL, under the umbrella of the Language Opportunity Coalition is following these guidelines to create the Seal parameters for the state.
  • Find Seal updates and national news as well as information about the progress of our legislative bid in Massachusetts at http://languageopportunity.org/.
  • Read the Seal legislation and see which legislators cosponsored the bills: H522 An Act to Establish a State Seal of Biliteracy (Representative Kay Khan, lead sponsor) and S336 An Act to Promote Global Trade and Economic Development through Biliteracy (Senator Karen Spilka, lead sponsor)
  • Read the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill legislation H498 (Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, lead sponsor) and S262 (Senator DiDomenico, lead sponsor).
  • Almost half the states across the nation have already adopted Seal of Biliteracy legislation. This map and other resources and information can be found at sealofbiliteracy.org.
  • See the Ed Week article “Nearly Half of US States Offer Special Recognition for Bilingual Graduates”.
  • In Massachusetts, the need for bilingual employees has nearly tripled in five years.  See the report.

If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Sherf, MaFLA’s Advocacy Coordinator, at advocacy@mafla.org

states-with-seal-12-16

Contacting State Government

As you go through the great list of co-sponsors of the House and Senate versions of the Seal of Biliteracy, if you recognize the names of your representatives, please contact them and thank them for their support! The Massachusetts State Government website has become much easier to use. Find your representative at the click of a mouse.

 

Foreign Language S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Templates Available

Various members of the MaFLA Board collaborated on Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Committees for teacher evaluation resources specific to foreign languages.  They are available here. MaFLA has been discussing model District Determined Measures with the DESE as well and will make resources available when we have them.  In the meantime, a 3-hour workshop on DDMs will be presented at the Annual Conference, October 23-25, 2014.  In addition, MaFLA is preparing a special issue of the quarterly MaFLA Newsletter for end-of-year 2014.  If you would like to share a DDM, please contact Guest Editor, Jeanne O’Hearn.

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Contacting State Government

The Massachusetts State Government website has become much easier to use. Find your representative or your precinct at the click of a mouse.