"No student should ever be made to feel that their race has anything to do with their ability to succeed."

February 2018

Jorge Aguilar, superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District, released a video after a student in the district’s elite Humanities and International Studies Program (HISP) displayed a racially charged science project suggesting the lack of a diversity in the program reflected a deficit of qualified minority students. In his video, Aguilar vowed to conduct a thorough review of the policies around specialty programs through the lens of equity, access, and social justice. In a subsequent article, the Sacramento Bee featured Aguilar saying that the way to increase equity and access in the district’s special programs is not through lowering the standards of admittance into HISP for students of color. Rather, after examining the district’s data showing dozens of qualified minority students who have not applied to HISP, Aguilar argued that the solution is to raise the expectations for all students. In addition, Aguilar wants to increase overall academic performance so more students are qualified to apply for specialty programs in the district.