Nearly 2,000 Dallas ISD students are graduating with the ‘Seal of Biliteracy’

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This school year, 1,943 Dallas ISD students are graduating with a Performance Acknowledgement for Bilingualism and Biliteracy, affectionately known as the “Texas Seal of Biliteracy.” That figure is up by more than 300 students from last year’s 1,608 who earned the honor.

Nearly 2,000 Dallas ISD students are graduating with the ‘Seal of Biliteracy’

Students may earn the seal in one of several ways, including:

  • Taking three or more levels/credits of foreign language, which is at least one credit/class above the minimum graduation requirements (with a grade of 80+).
  • Taking two or more levels/credits of foreign language, with one of those credits at Level 4 or higher (with a grade of 80+)
  • Being in a Dual Language program and taking at least 3 high school core classes in a foreign language, namely Spanish (with a grade of 80+)
  • Showing proficiency in ANY foreign language through a proficiency exam (score of intermediate high or higher)
  • Earning a qualifying score on a foreign language AP (3+) or IB (4+) exam

Regardless of the qualification pathway, students must also complete four English graduation credits and earn a grade of 80 or higher in those classes. For students who are English Language Learner/Emergent Bilingual, there is an added requirement: They must have officially exited that program by attaining a score of Advanced High on the English Language proficiency test (TELPAS). There is a movement in the foreign language teaching community across Texas to change that requirement at the legislative level.

Here are the numbers of students earning the Seal of Biliteracy for each school:

Skyline High School 217
Bryan Adams High School 135
Townview Science & Engineering Magnet 133
Townview TAG Magnet 123
Moises E. Molina High School 120
Woodrow Wilson High School 114
Booker T. Washington (Arts Magnet) High School 108
Townview Health Professions Magnet 89
Sunset High School 80
Trinidad Garza Early College High School 79
Hillcrest High School 73
Townview Business & Management Magnet 71
W.T. White High School 65
Thomas Jefferson High School 63
W.W. Samuell High School 63
Townview Law & Government Magnet 57
W.H. Adamson High School 56
Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School 44
Townview Education & Social Services Magnet 37
North Dallas High School 28
Seagoville High School 25
Justin F. Kimball High School 24
Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr. Early College @ El Centro 22
Emmett J. Conrad High School 20
L.G. Pinkston High School 17
Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy @ A. Maceo Smith 16
Kathlyn Gilliam Collegiate Academy 12
H. Grady Spruce High School 11
CityLab High School 7
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School 7
South Oak Cliff High School 6
Wilmer-Hutchins High School 6
IDEA @ Fannin PLC 5
David W. Carter High School 4
Lincoln High School 2
James Madison High School 2
New Tech @ B.F. Darrell High School 2

Dallas ISD’s Bilingual/ESL/Dual Languages Department and the World Languages Department collaborated with the Evaluation and Assessment Department as well as the Counseling Department to pull the data and award graduation honor cords to all qualifiers.

“We are extremely proud of the former Emergent Bilingual students who have demonstrated the power of being bilingual and biliterate.  As a department, we recognize that current emergent bilingual students also demonstrate bilingualism and biliteracy.  We are committed to working with the state to revise the criteria for the Performance Acknowledgement for Bilingualism and Biliteracy to include current emergent bilingual students,” said Richie Heffernan, executive director of Dallas ISD’s Bilingual/ESL//Dual Language Department.

Amy Anderton, World Languages director, said, “Students earned this distinction in Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Hindi, Russian, Vietnamese, Swahili, Amharic, Urdu, Burmese, Tigrinya, and Nepali. Other languages are available as well.” Anderton said she hopes that students from all 50+ native languages will take advantage of this opportunity as they approach their graduation date.

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