As part of a Lau Audit, the Department of Justice will be coming to Galileo in December to make sure all teachers are helping English Learners access the curriculum and build their language skills. They will also be looking to make sure that all teachers are writing down the AIM on their boards, and to make sure that students understand the work they are doing that day. Galileo is 1 of 10 schools in the district that the Department of Justice will come to visit.
In order to prepare for the visit teachers were trained how to write objectives in a new way for their classrooms in September. The new objectives needs to include the language that students must use during class to achieve what they are supposed to learn. Teachers have been working together to create objectives for their classes.
Galileo’s IRF, Mr. Larsen, created a website for teachers to use to find examples of well-written objectives. He also sends all staff emails when he finds good and useful objectives, written by teachers around the school. “Teachers are able to look at the EL student data (reclassification rates, test scores, class assignments, etc.) to see how well these objectives are working for our students, and see if the students have improved,” said Mr. Larsen.
Having to write the AIM and objective each day has been a positive experience for most teachers. “I can use the same objective everyday because we will be on the same topic about 2 days and then we move on to the next. It really helps the class because they have no questions on what we are doing that day, the students are always focused and when they ask me what we are doing today, I just tell them to look at the board and they’ll know what to do,” said history teacher, Mr. Cossey.
History teacher, Mr. Seligson, adds. “It really helps the class on what the Objective is today because the students will always ask “ what are we doing today” and I’ll ask them, ‘Have you looked at the board?’, so they’ll have to get used to it and look everyday at the Objective/Aim/Agenda. It really helps the class in general by showing the importance of the class and what the class objective is and the students are actually succeeding and getting what the assignments are,”
The Lau Audit began in 1974 when a Chinese family sued the SFUSD for not providing sufficient English development in schools and in doing so, violated the 1964 Civil Rights act. The result was that all schools in California had to provide a minimum of 30 min English language development instruction for non English speakers. Schools were also required to test non English speakers annually to examine their growth towards proficiency in the English language.
Since then, more legislation has passed that all teachers, regardless of subject, had to be CLAD (Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development) certificate 5 trfc d
e, which states that all teachers must have the training and be able to teach English learners in their classes.
In 2012 the new ELD Standards were published which requires all teachers of English learners to provide English language support within their classes.