Hartford Public Schools Director of World Languages Key in Workgroup to Pass Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy

Hartford Public Schools Director of World Languages Key in Workgroup to Pass Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy

Bryan C. Daleas, Ph.D., Director of World Languages for Hartford Public Schools has been part of a state-wide workgroup consisting primarily of world language, ELL supervisors and directors for almost two years working to craft a proposal, as part of a bill, to support the Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy.

Pictured in the photo above are, left to right, Dr. Bryan Daleas, Diane Roberge-Wentzell, Ct. State Commissioner of Education, and Lea Graner-Kennedy, the Supervisor of World Languages for Stonington Public Schools and President-Elect for the CT Council of Language Teachers, at the Connecticut Legislative Office Building where Dr. Daleas and Ms. Graner-Kennedy gave testimony to the Education Commission in support of the bill.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a seal that would be placed on the high school diplomas of graduates who have demonstrated proficiency in English and at least one other language. Proficiency refers to the ability to use the language in increasingly complex real-world speaking, listening, reading, and writing situations. Biliteracy refers to a student’s ability to read and write in those languages at a high level of proficiency, in addition to their speaking and listening skills. 23 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted a Seal of Biliteracy program and many more are currently considering it. Go to http://sealofbiliteracy.org/ to learn more.

The work is essential in that the Seal of Biliteracy validates language proficiency rather than seat-time in school or credits earned.  It means that the awardee of the Seal can use language for real-world communicative purposes in a variety of contexts.  This supports college and career readiness.  Additionally, students whose first language is not English can demonstrate proficiency in their first language, even if they do not earn high school credits for having studied or completed seat-time for that language.  It is a win-win for both English learners and Anglophone students learning an additional language.

Although the Seal was universally supported, the bill was voted down last year.  This year, the Seal re-emerged as a stand-alone bill, which was passed unanimously by the Education Commission on March 8th.  This year, the workgroup drafted guidelines to support implementation at district level.

Below are several documents to provide background on the CT Seal of Biliteracy:

  • An informational brochure with a link to the national website that tracks Seals of Biliteracy across the country.  It has some very clear bullet points to explain why this work is essential.
  • An agenda from a meeting of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission to whom Dr. Daleas presented to build stakeholder support in March of 2016.
  • Dr. Daleas’ testimony presented last week to the Education Committee.

The next step for the passing of Bill 7159 An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Seal of Biliteracy  is that it will come before the Connecticut House of Representatives.  You may follow its progress here.