The Carnegie Foundation Welcomes Jorge A. Aguilar to the Board of Trustees

June 21, 2023

STANFORD, CA (June 21, 2023) – The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is pleased to announce that Jorge A. Aguilar, Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, has joined the Board of Trustees.

“We are delighted Jorge has agreed to serve as a trustee,” said Diane Tavenner, Chair of the Carnegie Foundation Board of Trustees. “Jorge brings an unequivocal focus on children, educational equity and impact. His appointment to the Board is a testament to his exceptional leadership and tireless dedication to improvement in education.”

“Jorge is brilliant, dedicated, humble and always keeps his eyes on the prize,” said Timothy F.C. Knowles, President of the Carnegie Foundation. “The Foundation will benefit enormously from having Jorge in our firmament.”

Jorge A. Aguilar began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at South Gate High School. He currently serves as the Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, with responsibility for over forty thousand students. Previously he served as Associate Superintendent in Fresno Unified School District and Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational and Community Partnerships and Special Assistant to the Chancellor at the University of California, Merced.

Under his leadership, Aguilar has supported educators to significantly increase high school completion rates, dramatically reduce dropout rates, raise student performance, and improve post-secondary entry and success. He recently forged a historic agreement with the region’s major higher education institutions to enable Sacramento students to seamlessly transition to higher education. Aguilar is a champion for equity and access in education and has guided Sacramento City Unified in the creation of an award-winning Facilities Master Plan, which serves as a model for other districts for reimagining how construction and improvement projects are prioritized with a focus on schools that are historically underserved.

Aguilar also serves as a Commissioner on the Carnegie Postsecondary Commission, a Carnegie Learning Leadership Network member and he provided plenary remarks for the 10th Anniversary Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education. He is recipient of the Winston Doby Impact Award for exceptional professionals chosen by their colleagues for commitment to improving educational opportunities for California students. In 2015, Aguilar was invited by first lady Michelle Obama to present on education equity and access as part of a White House initiative. The same year, he was appointed by California State Superintendent to the state’s Advisory Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement.

He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish and Portuguese and earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He is the son of farm workers in the central valley of California and a product of the Migrant Education Program. He spent his early childhood migrating back and forth between Parlier, California and the state of Michoacán, Mexico.

“I am honored to join the Carnegie Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Aguilar. “This appointment represents an incredible opportunity to collaborate with esteemed leaders and contribute to driving transformational change in both K12 and higher education. My work has always been grounded in a philosophy that all students should graduate K-12 with the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options, and I am looking forward to supporting the Carnegie Foundation to realize this goal for every student.”

“Jorge possesses an unwavering commitment to educational excellence and equity,” said Knowles. “He will be an invaluable trustee, as we undertake work to catalyze educational transformation so every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life.”

About the Carnegie Foundation

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education. The Foundation was also instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Department of Education and Pell Grants, and mostly recently in the use of networked improvement science to redress systemic inequities in educational opportunities and outcomes.