SECTION 1. Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, shall be known, and may be cited, as Dual Language Educational Programs Act. It is the purpose of this Act to create the office of dual language educational programs within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with the goal of promoting and expanding dual language educational programs in the Commonwealth, and promoting long term economic development and trade between Massachusetts and foreign countries.
SECTION 2: Chapter 15 of the General Laws as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section:
Section 67B. Office of Dual Language Educational Programs.
There shall be within the department of elementary and secondary education an office of dual language educational programs, hereinafter referred to as the office. The office shall promote and provide technical assistance to dual language educational programs in the commonwealth.
The office shall be under the direction and supervision of a director who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Education. The director shall coordinate with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to identify those languages most useful in the industries and markets that contribute to economic vitality in the commonwealth and jointly market Massachusetts students as prepared to participate in a global economy.
The office shall recruit qualified dual language instructors for programs in the state, and shall be responsible for providing annual professional development programming for all dual language educational instructors in the commonwealth and for educators who aspire to teach in dual language programs and schools. Subject to appropriations, the office may provide grants to school districts that operate a dual language educational program in the commonwealth. The office shall facilitate relationships with representatives of foreign governments in order to encourage student exchanges between the two countries. The goal of the office’s activities shall be the promotion of dual language educational programs in the commonwealth.
The office shall annually compile a report of best practices from the dual language educational programs throughout the commonwealth and other states, distinguishing between the types of dual language educational programs, and distribute the compiled list to all dual language educational programs in the commonwealth.
The office shall annually transmit a report on dual language educational programs in the commonwealth to the House and Senates Ways and Means Committees. The study shall include, but not be limited to, an analysis, appraisal, evaluation and listing of all dual language educational programs in the commonwealth. Such report shall document, with quantitative data, the outcomes of each of the programs. The report should include best practices compiled by the office, as well as recommendations on how to best improve the dual language educational programs.
SECTION 3: Chapter 69 of the General Laws as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition is hereby amended by adding after Section 1N the following new section:
Section 1O. The board shall establish the State Seal of Bi-literacy to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The Secretary of Education shall be responsible for preparing and delivering to participating school districts the seal insignia. Participating school districts shall be required to maintain records in order to identify pupils who have earned a State Seal of Bi-literacy and to affix an appropriate insignia to the diploma or transcript of pupils who earn a State Seal of Bi-literacy. These Seals would also be available electronically. School district participation in this program is voluntary.
The purposes of the State Seal of Bi-literacy are as follows: (1) To encourage pupils to study languages; (2) To certify attainment of bi-literacy; (3) To provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and bi-literacy skills; (4) To provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission; (5) To prepare pupils with 21st century skills; (6) To recognize and promote foreign language instruction in public schools; (7)To strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community.
The State Seal of Bi-literacy certifies attainment of a high level of proficiency by a graduating high school pupil in one or more languages, in addition to English, and certifies that the graduate meets all of the following criteria:
a) Completion of all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above in those classes.
b) Passing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test in English language arts administered in grade 10 at the proficient level or above.
c) Proficiency in one or more languages other than English, demonstrated through one of the following methods:
(1) Passing a foreign language Advanced Placement examination with a score of 3 or higher or an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of 4 or higher.
(2) Successful completion of a four-year high school course of study in a foreign language, and attaining an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in that course of study.
(3) Passing the SAT II foreign language examination with a score of 600 or higher.
For purposes of this article, "foreign language" means a language other than English, and includes American Sign Language.
The Secretary of Education shall be responsible for: preparing and delivering to participating school districts an appropriate insignia to be affixed to the diploma or transcript of the pupil indicating that the pupil has been awarded a State Seal of Bi-literacy by the Superintendent; providing other information it deems necessary for school districts to successfully participate in the program.
A school district that participates in the program under this article shall maintain appropriate records in order to identify pupils who have earned a State Seal of Bi-literacy and affix the appropriate insignia to the diploma or transcript of each pupil who earns a State Seal of Bi-literacy.
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