Pass bill H479/S225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth”
  • Petitioning Representative Robert Deleo

This petition will be delivered to:

Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives
Representative Robert Deleo
President of the Massachusetts State Senate
Senator Therese Murray

Pass bill H479/S225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth”

    1. SFER MA
    2. Petition by

      SFER MA

      Boston, MA

In the Commonwealth today there persists an unconscionable achievement gap in primary and secondary education between our native and non-native English speakers. The number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in Massachusetts’ schools has grown by 67 percent in the past 12 years (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). This number is increasing and will continue to increase, along with the need for reform.

 Under our current system, our ELLs are not enrolled in language-instruction programs that develop their language proficiency to a level that will ensure academic and career success. Consequently, many fall behind and are not prepared for college or careers. Across a breadth of academic indexes, ELLs fare quite poorly as compared to their English-Proficient (EP) counterparts: ELLs are more likely to be enrolled in special-education programs. They are nearly 25 percent less likely to graduate high school and almost 3 times more likely to drop out. When they do graduate high school, they are about 17 percent less likely to move on to higher education (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). These gross disparities in educational achievement are unacceptable.

Accordingly, we recognize the necessity of reform and urge the adoption of Bill S.225 in the Senate and H.479 in the House of Representatives, otherwise known as “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth.” This Bill will help to close the achievement gap between native and non-native English speakers in our State by

·Allowing for ELL language instruction program flexibility that encourages districts to consider research-based educational programming that builds on the home languages and cultures of their unique student populations and recognizes their first languages as assets to the students themselves and to the whole community.

·Ensuring ELL program quality and accountability to determine whether school districts are meeting their obligations toward ELLs, including certifying and training all teachers who are in contact with ELLs.

·Encouraging and valuing parental involvement through ELL parent advisory councils.

In light of these hopeful prospects, the jarring inequalities generated by our current system, and the continued and growing presence of ELLs in our education system and community, we, the undersigned, are decidedly in favor of education reform in our Commonwealth, and we hereby declare our support for this Bill and petition you to make it law.

 

To:
Representative Robert Deleo, Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives
Senator Therese Murray, President of the Massachusetts State Senate
Pass bill H479/S225, “An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwealth”

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Joint Education Committee Misses Opportunity

      SFER MA
      by SFER MA
      Petition Organizer

      The Joint Ed Committee today was unable to pass out favorably the bill to improve English language learning programs. It was a close vote. Thanks to all of your support, this issue has gotten more attention than it ever has in the past 10 years. And it will continue to get attention. With a coalition now containing several active members, a petition boasting 2000 signatures all told, and media coverage to rely on in the future, we've got a solid foundation to make strong moves for this issue in the next legislative cycle beginning in January. Stay active from now until then and keep this issue in your mind. The more advocates, activists, and otherwise engaged people we have the better. Everybody has a role to play, and we believe that we will have even more success in the future. Thank you especially for your extraordinary effort in the past few days and past few weeks. That is largely why the politicians gave this attention and gave it an extension order.
      Be Strong.

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Joint Education Committee uses Extension Order

      SFER MA
      by SFER MA
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Activists,

      The Joint Education Committee last Tuesday the 18th announced an extension order for the bill H.479/S.225 "An Act Relative to Enhancing English Opportunities for All Students in the Commonwelath." This means that the Joint Education Committee has now until April 17th to report out the bill favorable to the legislature for passage. We need to keep the pressure up on the Joint Education Committee so please continue to spread the word about this campaign and the successes we've had so far. It has largely been the weight of your signatures propelling this issue to the forefront in just a few short months. I would direct you to the OpEd which our coalition has placed in the Boston Globe recently. http://www.bostonglobe.com/2014/03/17/podium-ell/Dt0oPioI0gZqnEuBJDdn9N/story.html

      Continue to make phone calls to the Joint Education Committee chairs (Chang-Diaz and Peisch) and spread the word about this petition among your professional circles!

      Keep Fighting!

      - The Boston Globe

      The Massachusetts Joint Education Committee chaired by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch is scheduled to make a decision on a bill that seeks to transform the way English language learners are educated in Massachusetts. Our education system has failed ELLs, and as a result they are currently 1.5 times more likely to drop out than their English-proficient peers.

    4. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

      • 6 days ago

      It is important that all students have equal opportunities and improve their language skills.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alison Crocker BROCKTON, MA
      • 4 months ago

      im a teacher

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paul McGuire NEWTON, MA
      • 5 months ago

      I am an ESL instructor at the Framingham Adult Education Plus Program at the Fuller Middle School In Framingham, MA

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jean Fecteau ESSEX JUNCTION, VT
      • 6 months ago

      The success of a country depends upon the education of its people. If opportunity is unequal, people get left behind, and the country as a whole suffers from lost potential.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matt Shuman BOSTON, MA
      • 6 months ago

      I teach ELLs and it is important our society welcomes and educates all students so that we are inclusive and generate buy in from all segments of society.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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