Advocacy & Policy

MATSOL's mission is to promote excellence and equity in the education of English language learners of all ages, and in all program models. MATSOL works in coalition with other local and national groups to achieve these goals.


Coalition celebrates a victory for students across Massachusetts

Update: Nov 22: Governor Baker Signs the LOOK Bill with the Seal of Biliteracy

November 15, 2017
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature tonight approved the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, greatly expanding options for English learners in the Commonwealth’s public schools and creating a new Seal of Biliteracy that will help students compete in the global economy. The bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature

English learners are the fastest-growing population in Massachusetts schools, doubling since 2000 to more than 90,000 students, or about 9.5% of total enrollment. Some are immigrants, but 82% of them are U.S. citizens, and they live throughout the state: 90% of school districts have at least one English learner.

For 15 years, Massachusetts schools have been required to teach all these students the same way: in “sheltered English immersion” programs, which provide language support, but teach all the content strictly in English. There are exceptions, but they are very limited, benefiting only a small fraction of students.

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Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project

Schools and school districts around Massachusetts are participating in a project to pilot the Seal of Biliteracy on the local level. Our hope is that local adoption will provide evidence for legislators that a state Seal of Biliteracy should be established in Massachusetts. This project grew out of the collaborative work between MATSOL, MABE, and MaFLA in the Language Opportunity Coalition. 

Over 50 schools or school districts are currently participating in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project. View updates on the Language Opportunity Coalition website.


Advocacy Resources

MATSOL position statements and related research on ELL education locally and nationally.

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Language Opportunity Coalition

The Language Opportunity Coalition was founded in the summer of 2014 with the goal to increase language learning opportunities for learning English, developing native/heritage language, or learning foreign language, and to ensure that all learners have equal access to a high quality education and professional opportunities. 

The Coalition's current initiatives include:

  • Bringing together ESL, bilingual, dual language, and world language educators to implement the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.
  • Advocating for establishment of a state Seal of Biliteracy, reforms to the English Learner education policy, and increased support for bilingual, dual language and world language programs that promote bilingualism and biliteracy.

Coalition members include MATSOL, Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA), MIRA Coalition, and others.

TESOL Advocacy


MATSOL works with TESOL International Association to support national advocacy initiatives on the federal level. We encourage MATSOL members to become members of TESOL in order to support this important work.

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