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California Department of Education News Release (with no CDE logo)
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #16-66
September 23, 2016
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

California Department of Education Receives
Seal of Biliteracy Honor in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C.—The California Department of Education received an award in Washington, D.C., today recognizing the state as the national leader in the Seal of Biliteracy awarded to high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in more than one language.

U.S. Secretary of Education John King presented the award to CDE officials during a national symposium about multiliteracy and dual-language learning. California representatives also attended a ceremony Thursday evening at the White House. California was the first state to create an official Seal of Biliteracy in 2012.

More than 40,000 California students received the Seal of Biliteracy last school year—the most of any state and four times the number of graduates since the program started. Since 2012, more than 20 other states have adopted the seal.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a gold seal on the transcript or diploma of a graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.

"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," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "In California, we encourage and recognize this accomplishment because it enriches students’ lives, allows them to understand other cultures more deeply, and gives them a tool that helps them succeed in 21st century careers and college."

Representing CDE at the Washington, D.C., events were Dr. Tom Adams, Deputy Superintendent of the Instruction and Learning Support Branch, and Dr. Veronica Aguila, Director of the English Learner Support Division.

Details about the Seal of Biliteracy are available at the CDE State Seal of Biliteracy Web page.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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