Stop the Accreditation Bullies and the Corporate Agenda to Downsize and Privatize Public Education

accreditation bullies

On July 3rd, 2013, the private Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges—the ACCJC— announced that it would keep City College on “show cause,” planning to terminate accreditation in July 2014. The Herculean efforts of the college over a short nine months were rejected as inadequate. The threat of closure could become real unless the College can turn itself inside out and meet the commission’s demands; work out a transfer of jurisdiction to another district; appeal successfully to the self-same commission; or unless a movement can mobilize politically and legally. Since loss of accreditation is really a death penalty for a college, in essence the ACCJC action manufactured a crisis, deepening the atmosphere of emergency that had hung over the college since the ACCJC put it on “show cause” in July of 2012. Under cover of “meeting peer standards” and protecting students, the ACCJC continues to discredit, disrupt and damage the college. City College has never before been on any sanction, and should never have been on “show cause” for a single day. The people of San Francisco love and need City College as a critical resource for education, civic culture, and opportunity for our young people. This is why in November 2012, despite an unrelenting series of negative articles in the SF Chronicle, 73% of the voters approved a special tax to save our college— Prop A.

In 2007, the seventy-seven year-old City College—one of the largest community colleges in the country-was featured by the New York Times as one of eleven model community colleges nationwide. How could the ACCJC’s actual agenda be to protect students, with the threat of closing the only real option for most low income and vulnerable students, leaving them with no education at all? What is otherworldly about the situation is that no one, including the ACCJC, has anything but praise for the educational offerings at the
College (and you thought that accreditation was to assure educational quality)…

Read the full statement here:

This article is written by a committee made up of students, faculty, retirees and staff from City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University and University of California-Berkeley, with friends and colleagues at California State University-LA, University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and other organizations working in impacted low-income communities and communities of color. This represents a rolling research project that we seek to constantly update with solid information and analysis serving the movement to Save City College and to defend and reclaim public education.

Research on many important topics is still under development, so if the topic is not yet addressed, so watch for future editions. In particular we are working on the question, “Are we really broke? Where’s the money for free high-quality education?” Publications are also under way in the area of education justice.

Please send comments or suggestions to the research committee:

Editorial cartoon by Jos Sances and the California Federation of Teachers