Nearly 700 members of the Class of 2014 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.
Recently compiled data show that 693 students earned a total of 706 Seals of Biliteracy, with some students meeting the criteria in more than one language. The languages for which LBUSD students earned seals include American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean and Spanish.
Nearly 25,000 graduating high school students across California this year earned the state recognition for achieving proficiency in multiple languages, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced.
"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," Torlakson said.
"In California, we encourage and recognize this accomplishment because it's one more tool students have to help them succeed outside our classrooms,” Torlakson added.
To qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy, high school graduates must meet certain criteria, including proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, demonstrated by passing a foreign language Advanced Placement examination with a score of three or higher, or an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of four or higher; or successful completion of a four-year high school course of study in a world language and attainment of an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in that course.
California pioneered the biliteracy seal, which was established in 2012. The recognition takes the form of gold seals affixed to the high school diplomas of qualified students. Since the program’s inception, eight other states – New York, Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, and Maryland – have begun replicating this program.