The Class of 2018 in the Long Beach Unified School District earned 821 State Seals of Biliteracy. The seals recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English.
LBUSD’s high school graduates this year earned 578 seals for Spanish, 85 for Japanese, 75 for French, 28 for German, 22 for American Sign Language, 21 for Chinese, six for Italian, and six for Khmer.
A record 55,249 students statewide in the Class of 2018 earned the bilingual seal, the California Department of Education announced recently. The distinction is marked by a gold seal affixed to students’ diplomas.
“I’m thrilled that so many of our students are learning a second language that will improve their cognitive abilities, better prepare them for the global economy, and broaden their horizons and understanding of other cultures and nations,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction TomTorlakson said.
California began the biliteracy seal program in 2012. Since then, more than 20 other states have adopted similar programs. In 2016, California received an award from the U.S. Department of Education in recognition as a national leader in promoting multilingualism. The state seeks to more than triple the number of biliteracy seals earned by 2030.