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.
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.