Debbie Varga, OFLA Public Relations and Advocacy Chair
The Seal of Biliteracy has been a powerful tool for states to provide high school graduates recognition for achievement of proficiency one or more languages other than English. This is beneficial for both second language and ELL students. Ohio currently has not adopted this program but would benefit greatly from its adoption, especially in regards to the preservation of world language programs throughout our state. A recent survey that was shared with Ohio teachers by the Ohio Department of Education requested feedback regarding the new Honors Diplomas that are currently being proposed for Ohio graduates. Three of the proposed diplomas did not include world languages as a part of their requirements: STEM, the Arts, and Social Science and Civic Engagement. In 21st Century education, it is crucial that world languages be included in these curricular areas. We must continue to advocate to not only our school administrators and educational communities, but also our legislators at the state and federal levels. The OFLA Advocacy committee is continually monitoring these recent events and has been making contact with state board of education members and state legislators about the Seal which has been successfully adopted by other states. More information regarding the Seal of Biliteracy can be found at www.sealofbiliteracy.org.