In this investigation, Kristin J. Davin analyzes current and former emergent bilingual learners’ decisions to take or not take a language proficiency assessment in a home language to pursue a Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL). The SoBL is a policy adopted in forty states to counteract English-only ideologies by recognizing students who graduate high school bilingual and biliterate. Considering the power of assessments and the complexity of the decision to take a test of proficiency in one’s home language, this study uses the history-in-person framework to understand the factors that shape students’ decisions to take, or not take, the “seals test.” Davin’s findings point toward considerations and changes necessary to SoBL implementation to ensure that the policy meets the needs of the emergent bilingual learners it was intended to benefit.

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