FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 25, 2013
CFT Issues Letter Objecting to ACCJC Action, Seeks Federal Intervention
Burbank, CA -- The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) is filing a new Complaint charging the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) with further violating federal law, by not responding to CFT’s July 1, 2013, complaint that they are illegally shredding documents, squelching expert testimony and barring the media from public meetings.
“The deliberate destruction of documents crucial to a complete and accurate record of a college’s performance violates the letter and spirit of Federal law. As educators and sworn public servants the Commission should be ashamed, and be held accountable for any and all violations of law,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt.
Instead of conducting a review of the July 1st complaint filed by the CFT, as the law requires, ACCJC instead responded on July 16, 2013, through Vice President Krista Johns, that the complaint “will not be reviewed” because it was not “timely” when, in fact, it clearly was timely, and is still.
Acting on behalf of ACCJC, Ms. Johns inexplicably asserted that the complaint should have been filed by May 30, 2013, despite the fact its allegations addressed events taking place from June 3-7, 2013, or information obtained in late May. Johns failed to explain how CFT could be held to such an impossible standard. She also ignored the fact that there is no time limit on the filing of Complaints against ACCJC, under its own policies.
“Coercion, obstruction and suppression have no place in higher education” Pechthalt continued. This commission has lost sight and touch with the enormous responsibility with which they have been entrusted. If our community colleges are to retain their academic credibility and remain a vital part of our communities, the thuggery stops here and now,” concluded Pechthalt.
The CFT demands the ACCJC immediately cease and desist from shredding or destroying documents and taking any act that would bar students, faculty, community leaders, and the media from participating in the accreditation process, as required by law and the Commission’s own by laws. Likewise, ACCJC should immediately cease efforts to gag individuals who have knowledge of ACCJC actions, which may violate the law or ACCJC policies.