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Ammiano: Accreditation body must give City College more time

May 15, 2014

Bill to prevent recurrence of Board of Governor’s ‘coup’ passes Assembly

by Carlos Alcalá

Sacramento – Assemblymember Tom Ammiano today called on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College of San Francisco more time to address its alleged deficiencies so the 80,000-student institution is not forced to close this year. Ammiano’s statement comes on the heels of California Assembly passage of AB 2087, his bill on community college governance, on a 74-0 vote.

Mass student and community protests erupted when the ACCJC, a little known agency, threatened to pull City College’s accreditation, setting off a series of moves that appear aimed at privatization. If City College, the largest community college in the U.S., were to close, private schools would benefit.  – Photo: Bridgid Skiba

Mass student and community protests erupted when the ACCJC, a little known agency, threatened to pull City College’s accreditation, setting off a series of moves that appear aimed at privatization. If City College, the largest community college in the U.S., were to close, private schools would benefit. – Photo: Bridgid Skiba

“The duplicity of the Accreditation Commission has been revealed again,” Ammiano said, referring to statements by the U.S. Department of Education that show the commission is not limited by deadlines commission officials claimed couldn’t be changed. “The commission’s actions suggest they are not motivated by the interests of students or the city.”

Ammiano’s bill addresses actions by the California Community College Board of Governors, which put governance of City College of San Francisco in the hands of a Special Trustee who effectively removed voter-elected trustees of the college from decision-making roles. The appointment of the Special Trustee followed the Accreditation Commission’s dubious actions to remove accreditation. Those actions have been challenged in court by the San Francisco city attorney.

“The Board of Governors’ actions looked like a coup to me. The City College Board of Trustees is elected by the same voters who elected me,” Ammiano said. “The Board of Governors was telling them their votes didn’t count.”

“The duplicity of the Accreditation Commission has been revealed again,” Ammiano said, referring to statements by the U.S. Department of Education that show the commission is not limited by deadlines commission officials claimed couldn’t be changed. “The commission’s actions suggest they are not motivated by the interests of students or the city.”

The Ammiano bill would require the Board of Governors to clearly identify when an elected board of trustees will return to full authority before a special trustee is assigned. The Board of Governors must also outline how the special trustee will consult with the elected board in decision making for the college district.

“The elected Board of Trustees has done good work. Before they were unseated, they approved the changes that are now being used to get City College back on track,” Ammiano added. “The Accreditation Commission needs to give the college beyond July 1 to address its challenges and the Board of Governors needs to give power back to the people the voters entrusted with that job.”

The Ammiano bill will now move to the state Senate for consideration.

Carlos Alcalá, communications director for Assemblymember Ammiano, can be reached at Carlos.Alcala@asm.ca.gov.

 

One thought on “Ammiano: Accreditation body must give City College more time

  1. Thomas Brown

    This is great news! Thanks are due to Tom Ammiano for getting his bill passed unanimously in the Assembly. If it passes the Senate and is signed by the Governor it will be a significant step in reigning in the unchecked power of the ACCJC to impose its privatization agenda on California’s community colleges.

    Reply

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