CCSF Request to ACCJC Must Be Clear and Powerful

by Rick Sterling on August 15, 2013

“There’s a very very slim chance that they (ACCJC) are going to overturn their determination.”

That was the assessment of Special Trustee Bob Agrella yesterday August 13 at the Convocation of CCSF. That dismal prediction comes before CCSF has even filed its justifications for a review of the ACCJC decision to remove accreditation from the college.

Wow. This is the man with special authority who has supplanted the elected Board of Trustees and is supposed to be leading CCSF? Pre-emptive surrender is a curious negotiating style.

To be fair, Agrella made this statement before the news was broadcast yesterday that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) was “out of compliance” with several Dept of Education requirements in its review and actions regarding CCSF.

Now the review request should be simple and powerful: ACCJC determinations against CCSF must be overturned because the accreditation review and decisions were out of compliance with US Dept of Education requirements. It’s simple and clear.

To be specific,
1) The composition of the ACCJC review team was out compliance because it was almost entirely administrators and therefore biased by that perspective.
2) There was either actual conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest with the husband of the ACCJC President on the review team.
3) There was not due process for CCSF including lack of clarity in the status of CCSF and meaning of past ACCJC “recommendations”.

The above is what the Accreditation Group of the US Dept of Education has determined.

Clearly the actions to put CCSF on “Show Cause” (June 2012) and “Remove Accreditation” (June 2013) should be cancelled. There should be an entirely new accreditation review in compliance with DOE requirements. There is no need for an expensive and time consuming formal “appeal” following a failed “review”. That will be a waste of time and money.

Perhaps Trustee Agella has already planned for outside consultants and attorneys for the appeal following a “review” which he has already given up on. However, with yesterday’s determination by the Dept of Education, that expensive process should no longer be necessary. The ACCJC decision against CCSF should be cancelled in the first review.

Success in overturning the ACCJC determinations will allow CCSF to start restoring the college’s damaged reputation, improving the areas of real weakness and continuing the fine teaching and education that the college has done so well under such huge physical and emotional hardship.

The statement supporting a review of the ACCJC decision will tell us a lot. Will it be self-defeating and quisling? Rambling and confusing? Or will it be clear and powerful? In other words, are the outside appointed leaders working for CCSF or the Accrediting Commission?

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