CSWD comments to SCUSD Board of Education on Superintendent Aguilar’s transformative leadership

Advocacy

The Coalition supports Superintendent Jorge Aguilar’s efforts to fix the broken Saramento City Unified School District system that has been failing students for decades. Unfortunately, Mr. Aguilar has been unfairly targeted and villianized by the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA), despite his many transformative accomplishments and putting students first. 

 

As Renee Webster-Hawkins points out in her written comment on item 3.1, 

 

“...the no-confidence “vote” by SCTA is based on a number of outrageous claims and gaslighting, all to the detriment of students with disabilities. The Coalition condemns this no-confidence “vote” as just another gimmick and chapter out of the same predictable SCTA playbook…”

 

This is not a new tactic for SCTA. They have also scapegoated and bullied past Superintedents and Board members who made a difference for students, such as Jonathan Raymond (a previous Superintednent) and Jessie Ryan and Jay Hansen, former Board members.

 

Contrary to SCTA’s claims, Superintendent Aguilar has a track record of positive efforts and results. 

 

One thing that is laughable, is that SCTA has blamed Superintendent Aguilar for the failures to appropriately teach our students with disabilities. However, his track record speaks for itself:

 

  • Back in the 1990s, the SCTA negotiated Appendix D which unlawfully gave teachers the option of whether to teach these students and support the IEP educational plans mandated by federal civil rights law and vigorously defended that "right" to opt out until 2017 when Aguilar and his team and former Board President Jessie Ryan insisted that the illegal and immoral "right" be dropped from the collective bargaining agreement. 
  • It was Aguilar and his team who in Fall 2017 committed to supporting the Community Advisory Committee with translators to help more families access the CAC presentations and engage with other parents of students with disabilities.
  • It has been Aguilar and his team who designed and launched the Dyslexia Intervention Pilot Program -- despite SCTA's resistance to its members participating in a district wide intervention program that would reach all students. 
  • It has been Aguilar and his team who have implemented a district wide early literacy and math assessment program to reverse the documented failure of general education teachers -- when left to their own discretion -- to adequately identify students with learning disabilities in their classrooms. 
  • It has been Aguilar and his team to design the Multi-Tiered System of Supports that will support all students and better serve students with disabilities. 

 

In Spring 2020, the general membership of the Community Advisory Committee approved a letter which documents all of these advancements by the Superintendent and the District, only to have them repeatedly thwarted by SCTA filing grievances or lodging other threats. 

 

Lest we forget, the SCTA insisted on a clause in the recent Special Education Evaluations MOU to make it voluntary for its members including school psychologists and resource teachers to serve special education students during the pandemic. Unconscionable. So just stop it, SCTA. Stop it.

 

We ask that the Board of Education support our Superintendent who has been actively working to advance equity for SCUSD students, putting them first. We need Mr. Aguilar’s continued leadership - more than ever now.