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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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UncategorizedCity College accreditor tries to head off court ruling...

City College accreditor tries to head off court ruling with bogus “restoration”

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By Tim Redmond

JANUARY 14, 2014 – The overlords who have been trying to shut down City College decided today to allow the school to accept “restoration” status – a move that comes conveniently just as a judge is about to decide on whether the accrediting commission acted illegally in the first place.

The process is riddled with problems. Among other things, the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges could decide at any time in the next two years to revoke the schools accreditation – and there would be no grounds for appeal.

Restoration was drummed up because the ACCJC is under such intense political pressure. If the agency actually went forward and shut down City College, the outcry would probably have ended with the dismantling or substantial restructuring of the ACCJC.  The schools that pay the ACCJC’s bills can only take so much from this institution.

The California Federation of Teachers put out an immediate statement saying that restoration was a bogus program:

“The decision is more of the same from this rogue commission,” said CFT president Joshua Pechthalt. “Its press release says ‘The termination implementation was suspended to permit time for CCSF’s appeal of the action.’ Nothing is further from the truth. The college stayed open only because a San Francisco Superior Court judge granted an injunction, stating that closure would be a terrible harm to the community.

I called Tim Killikelly, the president of the faculty union at City College, and he was just as blunt. “This gives us no relief,” he told me.

Typically, the ACCJC waits a while after making a decision before it’s released. But the panel just met a few days ago and put this out quickly.

“They are trying to influence the judge,” Killikelly said.

During the trial, ACCJC lawyers argued that there was no need for the judge to revoke the panel’s decision on accreditation because the problem had been solved: Restoration was in place, City College was open, no problem.

But City Attorney Dennis Herrera argued that restoration doesn’t address the real issues of equity in the process, and that it won’t protect the school from the same kind of bad behavior that has characterized the ACCJC from the start.

“This is more in a long line of atrocious behavior,” Killikelly told me.

We’re awaiting Judge Kramer’s ruling, which could come any day.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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11 COMMENTS

  1. The judge would probably welcome a chance not to rule either way. If he rules for ACCJC, then CCSF closes and the judge will feel bad about that. But if he rules for CCSF then he has essentially put himself in the business of assessing colleges, which he clearly is not trained to do, nor wants to do.

    So a fudge would be very tempting for the judge. And for both sides who equally face a total loss here.

  2. Yeah, but as a judgement comes close, that may change.

    And if I prove to be right here, then it will turn out that I knew more than you all the time, and you will have egg on your face for suggesting otherwise.

  3. Sam, we’ve already established that you know nothing about this topic. Suggest you bow out of this conversation and leave the discussion to more informed people.

    As for Karnow ordering to sides to get together, he already tried this tactic. The ACCJC refused.

  4. The announcement by the ACCJC probably reflects an attempt to influence the judge. It is a political organization and does everything through a political lens with the overall aim of increasing its own power and influence. If the ACCJC wasn’t trying to influence the judge it would have waited for his decision. That said, I think the ACCJC’s announcement is unlikely to influence Karnow one way or the other. There is law and a trial record that will determine how he rules.

    Anyone who has looked closely at the restoration process will see it for what it is: an only for CCSF jury-rigged solution designed to preserve the ACCJC’s power and influence. The shortcomings of this process were clearly noted by CCSF Chancellor Tyler, who is about as friendly to the ACCJC as anyone at CCSF, when he signed on to the process. In essence, restoration means total control by an arbitrary ACCJC with no chance to appeal. It keeps accreditation (and thus enrollment) in limbo and will give the CCSF administration the go-ahead it needs to shrink programs and facilities.

    The best solution for CCSF would be a ruling by Karnow supporting the City Attorney’s lawsuit. If he rules for the ACCJC I’ll hope for the best, but I’m not overly optimistic. I’m thinking of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.

  5. Perhaps, but at a settlement conference at a trial, typically both sides are willing to make concessions in order to avoid the risk of a total loss, and the expense of a trial.

    A smaller CCSF surviving seems a reasonable compromise to me, and better than a total loss of more years of uncertainty.

    The judge should get the two parties in a room and bang heads together.

  6. The losers in this “middle ground” are the community, the students, and the faculty. The loss of educational opportunity to the Bay Area would be tremendous. The quality of education provided to students at CCSF has NEVER been called into question. The “massive” problems you speak of have, without exception, been administrative issues.

  7. Restoration and a smaller college seems to me to be a decent compromise between closing down CCSF and leaving it alone as if it doesn’t have massive problems.

    What’s not to like about the middle ground?

  8. We are winning the battle for City College but have sustained major damage. The enrollment this semester is down, astonishingly down – even the ever popular culinary program has so few students they may have to cut cafeteria hours. The ACCJC said we were “too big” – this is what they wanted. Our hope? – students will come back when accreditation comes fully back. In the meantime, stay tuned… and take a class, please!

Comments are closed.

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