For immediate release: Oct. 24, 2014
Fair accreditation practices, fate of tens of thousands of students on the line
SAN FRANCISCO – On Monday, Oct. 27, the fight to save City College of San Francisco (CCSF) moves to the courtroom as the trial begins between the City of San Francisco and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit against the ACCJC to stop the commission’s illegal and unfair disaccreditation order against CCSF. Disaccreditation would effectively close City College, denying 80,000 students access to quality and affordable higher education.
The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) held a teleconference with members of the media on Friday in advance of the trial. Speakers included Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President; Tim Killikelly, AFT 2121 President and City College of San Francisco instructor; Rafael Mandelman, Member, CCSF Board of Trustees; and Shanell Williams, City College of San Francisco student.
“The ACCJC must be stopped from taking away the hopes and dreams of aspiring students like myself who have limited pathways to higher education,” Williams said. “The ACCJC is not being fair and transparent in their dealings with the college.”
Killikelly described the current situation as a bad dream and emphasized that CCSF’s quality of education is not in question, even though the faculty has endured years of salary cuts in addition to withstanding the pressures of the accrediting commission. “The quality of education at City College of San Francisco is not under question in this process. We’re doing our jobs … and we have to continue to live under this nightmare.”
President Pechthalt noted the negative impact that closing City College will have on not just 80,000 students and faculty, but on San Francisco as a whole. “This is about the reckless behavior of the ACCJC. The behavior of the ACCJC threatens the 80,000 students of City College of San Francisco, and frankly, it threatens a vital economic piece of the San Francisco economy.”
In addressing the issue of ACCJC’s newly-created restoration process, Mandelman said, “The process that we are stuck in now, which is this restoration process that was engineered by the ACCJC at the very last minute …
is fraught with peril. It does not appear to be a fair one.”
The California Federation of Teachers represents faculty and classified workers in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. For more information, www.cft.org.