Legislature weighs in for CCSF, tells ACCJC to “act reasonably”

“The ACCJC has gone off the deep end on City College of San Francisco,” announced Assemblymember Tom Ammiano Thursday. “Today the California Legislature joined a whole host of San Francisco local and federal representatives in calling for them to come back and start doing things that actually benefit students and institutions.” 

The California Assembly and Senate unanimously passed resolutions Thursday supporting CCSF and calling on the ACCJC to acknowledge the significant campus improvements City College of San Francisco has made to retain its accreditation and to give the school more time.

“By passing these resolutions today, legislators from across California are calling on the ACCJC to act reasonably,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting, who co-authored the Assembly resolution with Ammiano.  “If commissioners do nothing at their next and last meeting of the year, it’s clear that their priority is not the best interests of our students.”

But the ACCJC has already stated that it will not take actions at its upcoming meeting and will not change course on its biased decision, issue over a year ago, to disaccredit CCSF. Though the outcome of the college’s appeal to ACCJC has not been announced, commission leaders appear to have precluded any possibility that it will shift the commission’s direction. Its leaders continue to insist that the college voluntarily give up its accreditation and apply for “candidacy.” We know, as do leaders throughout the state, that this option is not viable and would put CCSF and its students at further unprecedented risk.

At the Assembly hearing, legislators made it clear that this is not just a San Francisco issue. Republican Don Wagner (Irvine), former president of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, took an unusual bipartisan moment to rise in support and to share his own experience with the ACCJC:

“I spent twelve years as a community college trustee. I have had to deal with the ACCJC many times. The dealings are almost uniformly unpleasant. My guess is this resolution doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.”

“And I urge not only adoption of this, but that we come back and take a look at whether the ACCJC is, in fact, following its own rules, because we got a determination, when I was in the Community College system, from the Department of Education that it was not. And this is the minimum that we could do for an agency that really does need a lot closer oversight from those responsible for that oversight.”

While there should in fact be no question that the ACCJC can rescind the decision, the ACCJC remains intractable, even in the face of multiple letters from the Department of Education.

Meanwhile, we invite you to join community college supporters from throughout the state next week, who will rally at the ACCJC’s public meeting on June 6th to demand that ACCJC rescind the faulty disaccreditation decision on CCSF and fair accreditation for all of our state’s community colleges. RSVP here!

Posted in Accreditation, News, Support for AFT 2121, CCSF

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