FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Demands ACCJC Stop Violating Federal Law and Rescind Recent Coercive Actions
Burbank, CA. The California Federation of Teachers is submitting an amended complaint against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) today and is sending a letter demanding the commission to cease practices that violate Federal law. The amendment takes into account recent ACCJC actions, which include barring the public from its “public” meeting, passing a policy allowing the Commission to shred and destroy documents that are pertinent to the complaint, and attempting to prevent witnesses to Commission irregularities from providing evidence.
“The deliberate destruction or shredding of documents crucial to a complete and accurate record of an accreditation review violates the letter and spirit of Federal law and the leaders of the Commission should be ashamed and be held accountable for it,” said Joshua Pechthalt President of the CFT.
The CFT maintains that these and other efforts by the Commission to prevent discussion of potential irregularities in a review are contrary to their requirements as regional accreditors to hold complete and accurate records of Commission decisions. These new policies also violate the spirit of accreditation, by trying to place behind closed doors crucial decisions about the institutions evaluated by ACCJC.
Among other actions the CFT letter demands the ACCJC: rescind and take no further action to adopt a policy governing shredding or destruction of documents relevant to Commission actions, without following the Commission’s process for consideration of institutional policies (e.g. first and second reading, etc.); take no action to coerce former team members who are not currently within the “control group” of ACCJC, into withholding evidence relevant to complaints against the ACCJC; hold Commission meetings in facilities large enough to accommodate members of the public interested in attending public sessions of the Commission, and then allow access to said members of the public; rescind the revised “Policy on Professional and Ethical Responsibilities of Commission Members”; cease and desist efforts to cause Commission members to “subscribe” to Commission policies, processes and Standards; and, cease and desist forbidding Commission members from making public comments about ACCJC business and accreditation practices.
WHAT: New Amended Complaint Against ACCJC filed and letter sent demanding cease efforts to destroy documents and limit public discussion.
WHO: California Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2121, and others