I can't believe I'm reading this...
View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.
City College of San Francisco teachers, administrators and advocates responded with shock and outrage to a regional accrediting commission's announcement today that the school's accreditation has been terminated, effective next year.At a time when college is more important for people in the Bay Area than ever, particularly considering the economy is growing faster here than a number of regions in the U.S. and more people at the same time are still out of work, the potential of the City College of San Francisco losing accreditation could be a big blow to San Francisco given a lot of minorities depend on this college for work-related training and cutting costs for them to complete general education (GE) before they attend colleges like San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley and University of San Francisco.
Pending appeal, the college's accreditation will end on July 31, 2014, according to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which announced its decision this afternoon.
The ACCJC last July placed City College on "show cause" status and required the school to file a report this March showing how it had addressed problems identified by the commission, including an excessive number of campuses and high non-instructional faculty costs.
At its semi-annual meeting last month, the ACCJC determined that City College had fully addressed only two of the commission's 14 recommendations.
Yes, CCSF did address only two of the commission's recommendations but with challenging times like these for families and individuals across the board, it's really not a good idea to remove accreditation from CCSF. The ACCJC may have reasonable cause for making their decision but what they're also doing is harming the CCSF and Bay Area residents' opportunities at higher education even more.
Here's the full statement from the ACCJC:
Just a point of reference, I've had a friend who got a Broadcast Electronic Media Arts CC degree a a few years ago and is currently an active filmmaker down in Argentina who is looking to build his reel there, as well as potentially having a long-lasting career in the U.S. One day when we were on a film shoot in San Francisco, his father came up to one of my other friends on the shoot and said, "I'm so proud of Tony for getting his degree."
Now an associate's degree or anything like that may not mean that much to those of us who soon after go for our Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Degree or anything higher but it does mean a lot to people like my friend Tony's father and even mother who don't have fancy bachelor's degrees and professional business careers.
However, this appears to mean nothing for the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
As others from City College and around the education community, they are outraged:
"We are disappointed in the commission's decision," City College interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman said. "We will be filing a request for review and will do everything in our power to have this decision reversed."Here's what San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee had to say on the matter:
Alisa Messer, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, City College's faculty union, called the ACCJC's decision "shocking for the whole City College community" and said it will have "a terrible effect" on the school.
Messer said many teachers and other staff already began looking for other jobs following the sanctions last year and said she expects that to continue after today's announcement.
"We've seen an exodus," she said, adding that student enrollment has also dropped sharply in the past year. "It's been a demoralizing experience."
Josh Pechthalt, president of California Federation of Teachers, which in May filed a complaint against the ACCJC accusing the commission of intimidation, a lack of due process and other violations, said today's decision was more of the same.
"It's an assault on a stellar education system," Pechthalt said, adding that the commission "continues to thumb their noses to individuals or organizations willing to question their behavior."
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee acknowledged that "some hard decisions are going to have to be made" and said he supports the appointing of a special trustee.
"These will be difficult times for the college, but this is the time to commit to true reforms and revitalization, so that this irreplaceable and valued institution continues," Lee said.
However, as much as Ed Lee and others want to do everything they can to reform the City College of San Francisco to its permanent accreditation status, even with all of CCSF's problems, that's not enough. There are other community colleges in California that are dealing with issues like CCSF and they are being faced with getting their accreditation status revoked. Colleges like the Los Angeles Mission College are dealing with this problem as well.
To show support for CCSF and for students, here's the necessary contact information:
City College of San Francisco Interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman's Office:
John Rizzo, President of the CCSF Board of Trustees:
Phone: (415) 239-3739
California Federation of Teachers
President Josh Pechthalt
Here's the ACCJC Contact Information:
If needed, you can also contact the following:
SF Board of Supervisors:
District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar
(415) 554-7410 - voice
(415) 554-7415 - fax
District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell
(415) 554-7752 - voice
(415) 554-7843 - fax
District 3 Supervisor and Board President David Chu
(415) 554-7450 - voice
(415) 554-7454 - fax
District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang
(415) 554-7460 - voice
(415) 554-7432 - fax
District 5 Supervisor London Breed
(415) 554-7630 - voice
(415) 554-7634 - fax
District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim
(415) 554-7970 - voice
District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee
(415) 554-6516 - voice
(415) 554-6546 - fax
District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner
District 9 Supervisor David Campos
(415) 554-5144 - Voice
(415) 554-6255 - Fax
District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen
District 11 Supervisor John Avalos
(415) 554-6975 - voice
(415) 554-6979 - fax
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's Office:
Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160