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.