MA Senate Unanimously Passes ELL Bill

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill to provide flexibility for school districts to teach English Language Learners and join 20 other states in creating a Seal of Biliteracy.

July 8, 2016

The Massachusetts Senate today unanimously passed a bill to provide flexibility for school districts to teach English Language Learners and join 20 other states in creating a Seal of Biliteracy for high school graduates who have mastered English and a 2nd language. 

The bill is called An Act for Language Opportunity for Our Kids, and is also known as the LOOK Bill. The bill removes the current mandate requiring schools to use to Sheltered English Immersion (SEI),  or English-only programs, which are considered by many to be outdated and inflexible, and not ideally suited to meet the complex realities faced by today's English Language Learners. Instead, schools now have greater flexibility to support the specific needs of their students.

This measure will help MA become more globally competitive and better prepare ELLs for college and career success, and can be seen as part of a growing national movement to recognize the unique needs of ELLs and take steps to support them.

If you'd like to learn more about the LOOK Bill, this article from the Framingham Source provides a good overview of what the bill entails, and this recent op-ed from a key supporter, MA Sen. Sal DiDomenico, does a nice job of summarizing the benefits of the bill.

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