Over 10,000 students awarded the “seal of biliteracy”

For the first time, graduating seniors from around California – more than 10,000 – have been awarded a state “seal” indicating their proficiency in two languages.

The award, which consists of a gold seal affixed to a student’s high school diploma, is the result of legislation (AB 815) authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and  signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

Some 59 districts around the state were already awarding their own seal of biliteracy, but this is the first time that it has been done statewide.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority – 70 percent – of those earning the seal demonstrated proficiency in Spanish, followed by French (10 percent) and Mandarin (7 percent).  Some 2 percent of students were proficient in Japanese, with a similar percentage in Cantonese and German. Altogether, students with proficiency in 40 different languages, including American sign language, were awarded the seal.

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