Multistate Association for Bilingual Education, Northeast

A nonprofit organization for  educators, families, and policy makers

(formerly known as Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education)

MABE has joined other community and professional organizations in building this coalition to support opportunities for language learning and academic achievement for students of all ages in Massachusetts.

Information for Legislative Cycle 2017-18

The LOOK Bill  - Bill H.4032 An Act relative to language opportunity for our kids (LOOK) passed in the legislature on November 15, and was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 22, 2017.

The legislation will greatly expand options for English learners in the Commonwealth’s public schools (removing the parental waiver for bilingual programs and create a Dual Language Educator Endorsement), and create a Seal of Biliteracy that will encourage students to develop proficiency in English and a native or foreign language, and prepare them to compete in the global economy. (See the Language Opportunity Coalition website and the MATSOL Facebook page for links to move coverage)

We are very grateful to Governor Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, the Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, Senator Sal DiDomenico, and the Chairs of the Education Committee, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch for their support of the LOOK Bill. We also thank Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Kay Kahn who championed the Seal of Biliteracy.

Thank you also to the Language Opportunity Coalition member groups: Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA), Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners (MATSOL),, and all the organizations and individuals who advocated for this bill, and especially the educators who worked to create the Seal of Biliteracy pilot program.

Given the intense interest in the new law the Language Opportunity Coalition is providing this quick overview to our members.

Note: This is not intended to be a complete or formal legal statutory analysis. Provisions of the law are subject to regulations and guidance created by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  READ WHAT'S NEW IN THE LOOK Legislation

S.2070 An Act for language opportunity for our kids

H.2839 An Act to reform English language learning education

S.232 and H.2809 stress the importance of language development for all students in the Commonwealth to prepare them to be competitive in the global economy. It gives school districts the flexibility to choose high-quality, research-based programs that meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs). It also encourages programs that help all students — both ELLs and English speakers — to build their language skills, a valuable asset in the 21st century global economy. The bill includes the (identical) text as the Seal of Biliteracy bill, giving us two opportunities to seek the Seal’s passage.

Seal of Biliteracy 
S. 311/ H. 285 An Act to promote global trade and economic development through biliteracy 

The Seal of Biliteracy recognizes graduates who speak, read and write proficiently in another language in addition to English with a seal on their high school diploma.  Passage of this bill promises to encourage language learning and teaching, and will provide evidence to universities and businesses that our students have attained these important 21st century skills.

NEW! Language Proficiency in the Workplace
      Legislative Cycle 2015-16
    Demand for Bilingual Workers in Massachusetts More than Doubled in 5 years, Report Shows
    On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) joined business leaders and education advocates from the Language Opportunity Coalition at the Massachusetts State House to call for the creation of a state Seal of Biliteracy.
    Read more….
    Research Brief: The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in the Massachusetts Economy
    As employers strive to increase their competitiveness in the global economy, they are increasingly seeking candidates who have the language skills necessary to communicate with a diverse customer base, and with operations and competitors overseas. This research brief explores the growing demand for bilingual talent in Massachusetts from some of the state’s biggest industries and employers, and highlights the need to attract and promote language diversity in Massachusetts’ workforce among both foreign-born and U.S.-born workers
    Read more….

    Steering Committee: MABE, MATSOL, MA FLA, MIRA
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