Mississippi Approves Seal of Biliteracy

The Mississippi State Board of Education has voted to approve
the state’s Seal of Biliteracy Policy and Mississippi Seal of Biliteracy
Guidelines at the local level and guidance on the process of awarding and
recognizing students who have attained proficiency in one or more World
Languages and English by high school graduation.
“The Mississippi Foreign
Language Association (MSFLA) has been strongly advocating for the importance of
creating proficient language speakers to help increase international investment
in our state, as well as increasing exports,” said Mr. Edgar Serrano, executive
directorof the association. “Currently 21% of the jobs in MS are
tied to trade, 12% of the state GDP is tied to exports to Canada, Mexico, and
Panama. A second language is also crucial for our national security, social
justice, and diplomacy.”
Dr. Bill Rivers, executive
director of JNCL-NCLIS, collaborated with a panel of local,
regional and national experts to establish the guidelines and example policies
outlined in the final reports. “The initiative and passion behind the
efforts of Mr. Serrano, MSFLA, the Board of Education and so many others
demonstrate how this grassroots movement became a national tidal wave.”
The purpose of the Mississippi Seal of Biliteracy policy is to
establish minimum criteria for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in awarding
Seals of Biliteracy. The purpose of the Mississippi Seal of Biliteracy
Guidelines is to provide assistance, examples, and resources to local school
districts on the process of awarding and recognizing students who are eligible
to receive a Seal of Biliteracy. Participation in the Mississippi Department of
Education’s Seal of Biliteracy shall be determined by each LEA and will begin
during the 2019-2020 school year. Recognition for demonstrating a level of
biliteracy shall be indicated on the final high school transcript for students.
Advocates say the Seal allows students to effectively
demonstrate attainment of biliteracy to employers and postsecondary
institutions, and it signals a student’s readiness for college and career and
for engagement as a global citizen.
Under the current regulations. LEAs will not be reimbursed for
participating in the program and the only federal resources available might be
solicited from Title IV, Part A.

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