A Seal of Biliteracy for Pennsylvania should be something we can all agree on. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award that can be affixed to the high school diplomas of students who graduate with proficiency in English and another world language. Twenty-nine other states and the District of Columbia already have a statewide seal, but Pennsylvania is not yet one of them.
World language proficiency can be demonstrated by earning high school credits and by taking exams such as the College Board’s AP subject tests. Some states require a service learning component to be completed in the target language, so the program can strengthen community connections.
Earning a Seal of Biliteracy requires full English proficiency and does not replace rigorous instruction in the English language. People who are proficient in multiple languages are more attractive to employers and often command higher salaries, so it makes economic sense to invest in world language education through programs like the seal.
Surely we want Pennsylvania’s graduates to meet the challenge of an increasingly global economy? I have contacted my state representation to ask them to support a Seal of Biliteracy that would be available to all students in our commonwealth, and I encourage you to do the same.
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Logan Rutten, State College