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On The High School Diploma: A ‘Bilingual’ Stamp Of Approval?

In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant. Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: “My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled.” Today’s students don’t have it so bad. Texas recently started offering a “State Seal of Biliteracy.” It recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. Several states now offer these seals. Indiana passed a bill last week that would make that state the ninth to do so. Eight other states are considering joining the list.

 

On The High School Diploma: A ‘Bilingual’ Stamp Of Approval?

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