Seal of Biliteracy – Public Comment

Public comment is open on the propose language for the Seal of Biliteracy as required under the LOOK Act.
At the March Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, draft changes to teacher licenses were release. Public comment is open until May 18, 2018.
For more information on the full set of regulations, check the DESE page here. Submit your comments via survey here or send an email to LOOKAct@doe.mass.edu.
The proposed changes to include:

Certificate of Mastery 603 CMR 31.00

  • Updates to general regulatory language
  • State Seal of Biliteracy shall mean an award given by school districts to students who have attained a high level of proficiency in English and not less than one other language in addition to English.
  • (4) The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are to:
    (a) Encourage students to study and master languages;
    (b) Certify attainment of biliteracy skills;
    (c) Recognize the value of language diversity;
    (d) Provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills;
    (e) Provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high level skills in languages;
    (f) Prepare students with skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society; and
    (g) Strengthen intergroup communication and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.
  • 31.07: State Seal of Biliteracy
    (1) District Participation in the State Seal of Biliteracy Program.

    (a) School districts may award the State Seal of Biliteracy to students who meet the academic criteria listed in 603 CMR 31.07(2).
    (b) A school district participating in the State Seal of Biliteracy program shall provide written notification to parents or legal guardians of all students enrolled in the district about the State Seal of Biliteracy program, its purposes, and eligibility requirements, in a language that the parent or legal guardian can understand.
    (c) A school district that awards the State Seal of Biliteracy shall affix the unaltered state insignia developed by the Department on the diploma or the transcript, or both, of students who meet the requirements listed in 603 CMR 31.07(2).(2) Criteria. To qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy, a student must meet all graduation requirements and the criteria listed in 603 CMR 31.07(2)(a) and (b).
    (a) Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English through one of the following:
    (i)  Students in the graduating classes of 2019 and 2020 must attain a scaled score of at least 250 on the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS administered in 2018 or earlier.
    (ii) Students in the graduating classes of 2021 and beyond must score at the meeting or exceeding expectations performance levels on the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS.
    (b) Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in a foreign language through one of the following:
    (i)  Attaining a minimum score or level on a nationally recognized and readily available assessment approved by the Department that measures literacy in a language other than English. The Commissioner shall determine the minimum score or level, which shall be comparable to the meeting expectations performance level on the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS. For students in the graduating classes of 2019 and 2020, the minimum score or level shall be comparable to a scaled score of 250 on the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS administered in 2018 or earlier.
    (ii) An alternative evidence method established by the Department in guidance.

    (3) The Department shall annually publish a list of approved assessments and acceptable minimum scores or levels for purposes of 603 CMR 31.07(2)(b)(i).


    (4) School districts must ensure that low-income students as described in M.G.L. c. 70, § 2 have access to any assessment required to qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy at no cost. 


    (5) Implementation and Reporting.
    (a) A school district that awards the State Seal of Biliteracy shall maintain a record of all students who have earned the seal and the assessment results used to substantiate the student’s biliteracy.
    (b) Each school district shall report annually to the Department the names of all students who earned the State Seal of Biliteracy.

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