More than 800 members of the Class of 2016 in the Long Beach Unified School District earned the State Seal of Biliteracy, which recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English.
The newest data show that 876 students earned one or more seals, up from 639 in the previous year.
"Fluency in more than one language has always been an admirable skill, but it's increasingly becoming one that's highly sought after by employers," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "We encourage and recognize this accomplishment because it enriches students’ lives, allows them to understand other cultures more deeply, and gives them a tool that helps them succeed in 21st century careers and college."
The California Department of Education recently received an award in Washington, D.C. recognizing the state as the national leader in the Seal of Biliteracy. U.S. Secretary of Education John King presented the award to CDE officials during a national symposium about multiliteracy and dual-language learning. California representatives also attended a ceremony at the White House. California was the first state to create an official Seal of Biliteracy in 2012.
More than 40,000 California students received the Seal of Biliteracy last school year – the most of any state and four times the number of graduates since the program started. Since 2012, more than 20 other states have adopted the seal.
The Seal of Biliteracy is a gold seal on the transcript or diploma of a graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.
LBUSD’s high school graduates this year earned seals in Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, German, American Sign Language, Italian and Khmer. Eleven students here earned seals in two languages.
Local schools and the number of seals earned this year are Avalon (15), Cabrillo (30), California Academy of Mathematics and Science (93), Jordan (93), Lakewood (137), Millikan (111), Poly (192), Renaissance (10) and Wilson (204).