Suarez Announces Biliteracy Seal for Chicago

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Alderman Ray Suarez (31st) announced the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy for city high school students to certify those eligible as proficient in two or more languages. Alderman Suarez has been a major proponent of this new certification to give Chicago high school students an edge in attending college and securing employment.

Suarez made the joint announcement at Kelvyn Park High School with Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “It’s important for our students who demonstrate additional language skills to have an edge when they’re making plans for higher education and looking for jobs,” said Suarez. “That’s why I worked closely with State Sen. Iris Martinez and State Rep. Cynthia Soto, who sponsored the legislation, to make this acknowledgment for talented youth a reality.”

The Seal of Biliteracy was developed by Californians Together in 2008 to recognize English speaking students who have attained a high level of proficiency in other languages by their high school graduation. The Seal is law in California, New York and Texas as well as being considered by several other states. It was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2013 and became Public Act 98-0560. Its intent according to the Act is “to encourage excellence for all pupils” and “to publicly recognize pupils for exemplary achievements in academic studies.”

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