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CFT Presses Forward with Complaint Against Accrediting Agency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 31, 2013
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CFT Presses Forward with Complaint Against Accrediting Agency

Says Commission’s Response Lacks Substance

The CFT is not surprised by the brief and dismissive reply issued yesterday in response to our third party comment to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

“The accreditation process is extremely important in ensuring effectiveness and trust for public education at all levels. The dismissal of our complaint as ‘without merit’ by ACCJC is further proof that the agency overseeing community college accreditation lacks transparency and any capacity for self-critical analysis,” said Joshua Pechthalt, CFT president. “We are extremely troubled by the way ACCJC has steered the accreditation process away from those values.”

The CFT will continue to push to return the agency responsible for accrediting community colleges in California to transparency and accountability to the public.

The ACCJC’s six-page response ducks most of the complaint's substance. In response to the complaint’s documentation of violation of federal regulations, the ACCJC simply says, it “is not a court of law,” and ignores the substantive issues raised.

Ultimately, the ACCJC is unwilling to hear any criticism, as it places more than one in five community colleges on sanction, diverting precious resources from the job of educating students to “compliance” with its demands.

“The students of California’s community colleges and the taxpayers who support them deserve far better,” said CFT President Pechthalt, one of the signatories to the complaint. “We will do what we can to make sure that the accreditation process for California community colleges helps and doesn’t harm public education.”

The CFT requests the facts from Community College Accreditors (ACCJC)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 20, 2013 
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The CFT requests the facts from Community College Accreditors (ACCJC)

Calls for Release of Information in City College of San Francisco Case
The California Federation of Teachers has followed up its recent “complaint” with the Accreditation Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACCJC) with a request for additional information. In a legal letter to the Commission, the CFT, through attorney Robert J. Bezemek, is requesting materials that may prove relevant to its complaint, in printed and electronic form, stipulating that these materials must continue to be preserved.

“Given the seemingly arbitrary way the commission has acted of late – misapplying its own rules and procedures while violating federal and state law -- we want to do everything we can to make sure the public has access to all the relevant information so that an informed opinion can be reached,” said Jeff Freitas, Secretary Treasurer of the CFT.

In the April 30 filing, the California Federation of Teachers and its San Francisco affiliate, AFT Local 2121, protested the ACCJC’s placement of City College San Francisco on a “show cause” sanction in 2012. The document demonstrates that given the agency’s malpractice no sanction, let alone “show cause,” should have been imposed on CCSF. It also notifies the ACCJC and the US Department of Education (DoE) that in the view of CFT, the accrediting agency is in violation of federal and state law as well as its own policies, and has overstepped its authority in a number of ways. The agency is currently undergoing its own review by the DoE, and the CFT is presenting the complaint as information useful to that process.

To view the information request, third party comment, and other articles related to this unfolding story, go to cft.org/accjc.

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