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Monday, July 8, 2013

The "hard choices" at City College

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a pretty good piece on the dis-accreditation of City College, and it lays out the dilemma:

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.


  1. Correction:

    March is Tuesday, July NINTH at 4 pm from the Downtown campus at 4th and Mission (1 block from Powell BART) to the US Department of Education

    Follow and the SAVE CCSF Coalition on Facebook

  2. Thank you for your continued reporting and attention to this very serious matter. As a student of this school in a degree program, I will be affected by this process. I am someone who's career was made obsolete by the bad economy in 2009 and have struggled to find/keep/transition into a new career. My husband has also been affected by the economy and is also in a degree program at CCSF. We can't afford the state schools and must learn new skills or be out on the streets. What benefit will come of this and to who? That is what I want to know. Is there some real estate deal behind this? I would think as a MAYOR or GOVERNOR of this state you would WANT to help educate and retrain your local workforce, since the economy is so poor. Maybe this is a great chance for Dennis Herrera to grab that Mayoral seat in the future, since our current mayor is sadly absent.

  3. Tim - It's great you are on the case and thinking creatively about the critical CCSF battle!

    I have written articles on CCSF and ACCJC at beyondchron. Wish to exchange ideas with you.

    What is your email contact now??

    Thanks for 30 years great work and for keeping up the fight for a better SF!!!

    - Rick Sterling