Regaining accreditation on its own through appeals or further reform looms as a long shot. Merging with an accredited institution is fraught with improbabilities. And the college appears to be too large to just shut down entirely.Those are, indeed, "hard choices" -- if we choose to look at the situation that way. Or we can say that there is no choice at all -- the city has to come together to overturn this decision. City College can't shut down -- "entirely" or largely. It has to remain open; there's too much at stake.
If you look back at this, a lot of the problems have to do with the defunding of education in this state. City College has faced a lot of "hard choices" in the past decade, and the College Board has, by and large, chosen to cut administration and overhead instead of classroom instruction. That was, by and large, the right direction to go if you want to continue providing the best possible education to the most people (oh, and by the way, CCSF's educational outcomes are better than most community colleges in Calfornia).
But it wasn't what the accrediting commission -- which, by the way, is not well respected among education leaders in the state -- wanted. Barbara Beno, the president of the ACCJC, has said in numerous interviews that she's just responding to the federal government's demand for greater accountability and results in higher education. But if educational results are what they want, City College ought to have passed with flying colors.
By the way, I'm not the only one who thinks this is all about pushing toward a privatized and corporatized model of education.
So the organizing campaign to overturn this decision needs to kick into high gear. It starts with a march tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, July 9) starting at 88 Fourth St. And it only ends when the ACCJC is forced to reverse its ruling.
Because more than City College is at stake here; this is the first clash in what will be an ongoing battle over the shape of community college education in California.