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Massachusetts bill seeks to usher in new era of bilingual education

Massachusetts bill seeks to usher in new era of bilingual education

November 18, 2017 04:16 PM

BOSTON (AP) - Fifteen years after Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question establishing an "English immersion" policy for bilingual students, state lawmakers have overwhelmingly backed a bill largely rolling back that approach.
    
The bill is instead designed to give school districts more flexibility in choosing alternative approaches for teaching students who are still learning English.
    
Supporters of the bill say that while the number of so-called "English learners" in Massachusetts has doubled to more than 90,000 students since 2000, the achievement gap between English-learning students and their peers has persisted.
    
The bill is also designed to give parents more choice in choosing programs that best meet their children's needs. The bill also creates a "Seal of Biliteracy" to celebrate fluency in multiple languages.
    
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's said he's reviewing the bill.

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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