The California Federation of Teachers is releasing the video “Fair accreditation for CCSF” today via YouTube and social media to highlight this critical issue for legislators and media.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has ordered the closure of City College of San Francisco as of July 2014, which would leave 85,000 students without affordable access to higher education. Across the state, this agency has been on an unprecedented community college sanctions binge, at a rate that is 400% to 700% of the national average.
After the CFT filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, which oversees regional accreditation agencies, the Department sent a warning letter in August to the ACCJC, agreeing with CFT about the agency’s apparent conflicts of interest and other violations of policy and law.
The ACCJC president, Barbara Beno, was described during a recent Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing by Republican State Senator Jim Nielsen: “In all my career, in my thousands of meetings with agency individuals—representatives, secretaries, etc.—I have never dealt with a more arrogant, condescending and dismissive individual.” (You can watch him say this in the video). This highly secretive private agency, funded by taxpayer dollars, recently instituted a policy of shredding accreditation documents rather than have them potentially available to public view.
In addition to the United States Department of Education, a growing number of organizations and elected officials are weighing in to push for transparency and fairness from this organization and protect student access to community college. This group includes the City Attorney of San Francisco (who, along with CFT, has filed suit to stop the closure of CCSF), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, and others.