Friday, October 21, 2011

California: State Seal of Biliteracy on High School Diplomas and Transcripts

Legislation recently enacted in California creates the State Seal of Biliteracy, creating a sort of honors diploma/endorsement for students capable of demonstrating that they can speak, read and write a language other than English (including American Sign language) at an advanced level.

While 17-some states have honors diplomas or endorsements students may earn by earning advanced credits, reaching benchmarks on state assessments, or meeting other state-set criteria, California is the first to create an honors endorsement based on a student's fluency in a second language. The first section of the legislation sets forth the advantages of fluency in a second language--and Rosetta Stone and many other providers can attest to the fact that it's only in adulthood that many people realize that skills in a second language can be mighty handy. I am eager to see how many students take California up on its offer on this diploma endorsement, and if we will see the idea take off in other states.

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