In a detailed letter sent this week to Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier, and Anna Eshoo, California Federation of Teachers (CFT) President Joshua Pechthalt clarifies that the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACCJC) can without question continue CCSF’s accreditation beyond July 31, 2014.
While leaders of the ACCJC have claimed repeatedly, most recently to Pelosi, that ACCJC cannot provide dispensation to CCSF because their hands are tied by Federal regulators, Pechthalt makes clear this is not true. In addition to thanking the Congressional leaders for their commitment, the letter provides accurate accounting of a number of false claims made by the commission. He notes, for instance, that ACCJC President Beno herself wrote to the College less than a year ago that the ACCJC had discretion to extend the date for CCSF.
The Congressional leaders had condemnatory comments for leadership of the ACCJC earlier this week following the ACCJC’s response to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s request for moderation and “more time” for CCSF. The commission’s intractable response, however, even in the face of so much evidence that the Department of Education agrees that ACCJC has broad authority not to disaccredit CCSF, was so unsatisfying that Pelosi, Speier, and Eshoo issued a joint statement calling the ACCJC’s actions “professionally crippling and destructive”:
“The commission’s letter raises serious questions about its ability to properly execute the law and make informed decisions based in ensuring high-quality institutions of learning that benefit our students, our community and our state. Should this failure of leadership persist, new leadership is needed at ACCJC. The Department of Education should also consider whether to recertify ACCJC as an accrediting body.”
In follow-up comments, Speier had more to say about the failures of the ACCJC:
“‘They’re a rogue operation,’ Speier told The Chronicle. ‘They have dug in their heels like some totalitarian regime. I think the time has come for the Secretary of Education to dismantle them.'”