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MATSOL Board Applauds LOOK Act

The MATSOL Board of Directors applauds the passage of the LOOK Bill with the Seal of Biliteracy, which will allow school districts to establish English Learner programs that best meet the needs of students, recognize the assets that bilingual students bring to our schools, and encourage increased language learning for all students.

We would like to express our deep appreciation to Governor Charlie Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, the bill sponsors Senator Sal DiDomenico and Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, and Education Committee Chairs Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch for supporting this legislation. In addition, we are grateful to Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Kay Kahn for championing the Seal of Biliteracy.

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LOOK Bill Advances with Seal of Biliteracy

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.

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MATSOL Statement on the Immigration Executive Order

The MATSOL Board of Directors voted unanimously on February 1, 2017 to endorse and adopt TESOL International Association's statement on the recent immigration executive order.

TESOL Statement on Immigration Executive Order 

by David Cutler | 01/31/2017

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Legislative Update

Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition Statement on the 2015-16 Legislative Session

We are sorry to report that the Massachusetts legislative session ended on January 4, 2017 with failure to pass either the LOOK Bill (H.498/S.262 An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids) or the Seal of Biliteracy Bill (H.422 An Act to Establish a State Seal of Biliteracy / S.336 An Act to Promote Global Trade and Economic Development through Biliteracy ).

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LOOK Bill passes House and Senate

We are writing with an update on the LOOK bill and Seal of Biliteracy bill. The formal session of the Massachusetts state legislature ended at midnight on July 31st, and we are happy to report that both the Senate and House took action on the LOOK Bill!

The Massachusetts state Senate passed the LOOK Bill on July 7th unanimously with bipartisan support.  This bill gives school districts the flexibility to offer bilingual programming without the need for waivers, and establishes a state Seal of Biliteracy. During the debate, both Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr voiced their support of the bill – it is quite notable to have two people in leadership on both the Democratic and Republican side speak in favor of a bill on the floor. Just a few weeks later, on July 31, in the flurry of last minute activity, the House passed their version of the LOOK bill.

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Flexibility needed in educating English language learners

An op-ed in CommonWealth Magazine by Sen Sonia Chang-Diaz and Sen Sal DiDomenico explaining why we need to pass the LOOK bill in Massachusetts.

Mass Senate unanimously passes the LOOK Bill

On July 7, 2016 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 …

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The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Massachusetts’ Economy 


Partnership for a New American Economy, a national bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders, has released a new research brief, Language Diversity and the Workforce: The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Massachusetts’ Economy. The report finds that in the past five years, demand for bilingual workers in Massachusetts has more than doubled. The group also calls for the creation of a state Seal of Biliteracy to help meet this need.

LOOK Bill to be heard in Senate

 On June 30, the the Senate Ways and Means Committee favorably reported out the LOOK bill. The bill has been placed in the Orders of the Day to be heard in the next Senate session on July 7th.

If you have not done so already, please contact your State Senator to urge support for the LOOK Bill!

  1. Find contact information for your State Senator.
  2. Contact your Senator by phone or email. Suggested language for your message: 
    My name is [NAME] from [ADDRESS]. Please support S2288 An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (the LOOK Bill).Now is the time for the Massachusetts legislature to advance language education that foster bilingualism and biliteracy. Approving An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK Bill) S2288 would ensure the academic success of English Language Learners (ELLs) by giving school districts the flexibility to establish language education programs that reflect the true educational needs of our ELLs students. ELLs are a diverse group of students with complex educational needs that cannot be met under the current “one-size-fits-all” program mandate. This bill will remove the current barriers to selecting the best programs for our students, and includes a state Seal of Biliteracy to recognize students who speak, listen, read and write proficiently in another language in addition to English. Thank you in advance for supporting S2288. We hope we can count on you to stand up for language learning programs that will help our students acquire skills to be competitive in the 21st century global job market.

LOOK & Seal of Biliteracy Bills Reported Out Favorably

The LOOK bill and Seal of Biliteracy Bill were both referred out favorably by the Mass Legislature's Joint Committee on Education, and are moving ahead in the legislative process. 

MA Joint Committee on Education Unanimously Votes Out ELL Bill

An Act for Language Opportunity for Our Kids includes key reforms in English language education and dual language learning.

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Boston Globe articles on language education policy

The Boston Globe published several articles and letters to the editor recently about language education policy in Massachusetts: 


Rights of Students

Rights of Students

Here is important information that you may wish to share with your colleagues and other educators, to protect legal, civil and human rights of students and their families, under law.  

With recent raids aimed to legally deport families in Massachusetts, attention to the needs and the status of students and families is heightened, for those directly targeted and for those who are not. Therefore it is critical that schools remain vigilant about maintaining and protecting the rights of students regardless of their immigration status.

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Boston Globe editorial supports LOOK Bill

A Boston Globe editorial endorses the LOOK Bill filed by Rep. Sánchez and Sen. DiDomenico:

… the solution may lie beyond the Boston school system — more specifically, on Beacon Hill. Massachusetts’ school districts have been restricted in the way they teach English learners since 2002, when a ballot question crippled bilingual education. Districts were required to use “Sheltered English Immersion,” a method that focuses on teaching academic content in English, limiting the help students can receive in their native language…

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Schools’ Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents

The US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has released new guidance on the civil rights of ELLs and the rights of LEP parents. The resource page includes fact sheets for parents and students in multiple languages, as well as resources for schools and administrators.

See the DOE OCR webpage: Schools’ Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents

Join the Advocacy April 15-16

Tweet, call and email to let legislators know that you support H479/S225 An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for all Students in the Commonwealth. The deadline to refer out the bill is this Thursday April 17, so we must act now!

Click here to learn how!

Advocacy Alert: Urgent Action on ELL Bill

Advocacy Alert: An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for all Students in the Commonwealth H479 (Sanchez) / S225 (DiDomenico)

1. Enables English language learners and their parents to choose from multiple language instruction educational programs while maintaining students’ opportunities for academic success,

2. Strengthens and ensures proper qualifications for teachers working in the different models of language instruction educational programs, and 
3. Encourages parent and student involvement to facilitate success on an individual basis.

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MATSOL Rallies to Support ELL Bill

Executive Director Helen Solórzano represented MATSOL at a rally at the Massachusetts Statehouse to deliver petitions in support of Bill H.479/S.225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth.” The advocacy coalition there to support the bill included MATSOL, Mass Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), Mass Advocates for Children, META, Parents for a Global Education Association (PANGEA), and chapters of Students for Education Reform (SFER) from various different colleges in the area.


This is the last week for the MA Joint Committee on Education to refer out two important bills for ELL education.  Please voice your support for these bills by Tuesday, March 18!

Bill H.479/S.225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth”

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Boston Area Adjunct Symposium Nov 1

After a victory for adjuncts at Tufts, who voted to form a union in September, and as campaigns move forward at Bentley and Northeastern universities, adjunct faculty will be coming together Friday, November 1, 2013 to plan the next step as organizing efforts continue across the Boston metro area.

  • What: Adjunct Symposium
  • Where: Boston Central Library, Copley Square, 700 Boylston St.
  • When: Friday, November 1, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

AG Warns About For-Profit Schools

Some for-profit schools engage in predatory recruitment practices that mislead and/or coerce prospective students into enrolling in high-tuition programs that cost on average much more than public schools or private, non-profit schools. These for-profit schools frequently target vulnerable populations of prospective students who are typically from lower income families and/or eligible for federal aid programs, such as Pell Grants and GI Bill benefits, as a way to maximize revenue for the school via a federal funding stream.  Students who attend for-profit schools have significantly higher incompletion rates and nearly half of these students end up defaulting on their loans.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched a campaign to educate prospective students (and the teachers who advise them) about this issue.  The AG’s web site has information descriptions of the deceptive practices and questions to ask before enrolling in a for-profit school, as well as a list of resources for post-secondary school planning. Teachers are encouraged to share this information with their students.  Multilingual posters are also available.

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