December 6, 2010
Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Applauds Schools
for Implementing Seal of Biliteracy Program
BURLINGAME — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today congratulated 33 school districts for implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, a statewide program that honors students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by high school graduation. The schools were recognized for their participation by Californians Together during the 11th annual Accountability Leadership Institute for English Learner and Immigrant Students hosted by the California Department of Education (CDE).
The list of districts implementing the Seal of Biliteracy program is attached.
"Preparing all students with 21st century language and communication skills is critical for being college and career ready," O'Connell said. "Thousands of students will graduate this spring that will be well-prepared and ready to contribute to the prosperity of our state and their community because of their proficiency in English and at least one of the many languages spoken in California. These students will be equipped to be leaders in the areas of international trade, the global economy, and public services vital to our diverse communities. I encourage all students to become excellent communicators by gaining proficiency in English and learning another world language."
"This exciting program is designed to recognize the biliteracy skills of all students," said Karen Cadiero Kapland, president of Californians Together, a statewide coalition of parents, teacher, professional, and civil rights organizations.
"Students who receive the Medal of the Seal of Biliteracy become highly attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. It is our goal to have 75 to 100 school districts, schools, or county offices of education awarding Seals of Biliteracy this June," she said.
A number of businesses have partnered with school districts to sponsor or develop this program. For example, Velasquez Press sponsored the Seal of Biliteracy in Baldwin Park and Azusa Unified school districts, and provided medals given to the students at graduation last June.
"An important component of 21st century skills is fluency in a language in addition to English that will enable California's next generation of business leaders and workers to continue to grow our economic capacity," said Kate Klimow, vice president, Orange County Business Council. "A Seal of Biliteracy is an excellent example of K-12 practices that support 21st century skills for economic success."
Glendale Unified School District pioneered and envisioned this award initially in English and Spanish. Now students are honored who speak, read, and write Armenian, Korean, Russian, and Tagalog.
In addition to the Seal of Biliteracy for high school graduates, Californians Together is working with school districts to adopt pathway awards designed to encourage preschool, elementary, and middle school students to develop proficiency in English and another language leading to the Seal of Biliteracy. The California Teachers Association, The Association of California School Administrators, The California Federation of Teachers, and the California School Boards Association have endorsed this program and have encouraged their members to implement it in districts throughout the state.
For further information on the districts implementing the Seal of Biliteracy and the Seal program go to Californians Together -- Championing the Success of English Learners [http://www.californianstogether.org/reports/] (Outside source).
Attachment: List of districts implementing the Seal of Biliteracy program.
- Anaheim Union High School District
- Antelope Valley Union High School District
- Azusa Unified School District
- Baldwin Park Unified School District
- Borrego Springs Unified School District
- Cali Calmecac Language Academy
- Ceres Unified School District
- Colton Joint Unified School District
- Eastside Union High School District
- EL Segundo Unified School District
- Glendale Unified School District
- Hawthorne Unified School District
- Laton Unified School District
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- Modesto City Schools District
- Newman Crows Landing Unified School District
- Orange County Educational Arts Academy
- Pajaro Valley Unified School District
- Pasadena Unified School District
- Patterson Joint Unified School District
- Redwood City School District
- Riverbank Unified School District
- Rowland Unified School District
- San Francisco Unified School District
- San Jose Unified Schools District
- Santa Clara County Office of Education
- Santa Monica Malibu School District
- Santa Paula Union High School District
- Stanislaus County Office of Education
- Sweetwater Union High School District
- Turlock Unified School District
- Ventura Unified School District
- Waterford District
- Whittier Union High School District