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New York State Seal of Biliteracy 2018-19 Report

The 2018-19 New York State Seal of Biliteracy Report Released

The New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) released today the 2018-19 Report on the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB or “the Seal”). The report summarizes facts and figures that demonstrate significant growth in this program over the last four years, including an increase in the number of schools offering the Seal and the number of students earning it. The report also identifies future goals for growth areas, strategies to achieve these goals, and provides information regarding how the NYSSB compares to other such programs throughout the country.  Last year, 4,031 students from 228 schools earned the NYSSB in 47 different languages. Since the first year this program was offered, over 7,700 students have earned this distinction.  Click here to download the full report.

The NYSSB was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 31, 2012 behind the sponsorship of Senator Robach and Assemblywoman Arroyo, making New York the second state in the nation to adopt a State Seal of Biliteracy. This Seal is an award given by a school, school district or county office of education in recognition of students who have attained a high level of proficiency in two or more world languages by high school graduation, one of which must be English.  Through its awarding of the Seal, NYSED recognizes the importance of being biliterate in today’s global society. It highlights the hard work and achievement of students and encourages students to pursue language study while in school, including the continued development of one’s home language. NYSED encourages all high schools in New York State to participate in this rigorous and enriching program, and strives to make sure the Seal is equitably accessible to all students who wish to pursue it, especially to English Language Learners who bring with them a rich cultural heritage and a solid foundation in a world language other than English.

By offering the Seal, schools clearly state that mastery of multiple languages is a critical skill for their graduates. Schools that offer this program do so to encourage students to study languages, to recognize the value of language diversity, to provide employers with a method of identifying people with language skills, to provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high-level skills in multiple languages, to prepare students with 21st century skills, and to honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.