City Attorney Sues College Accrediting Commission

On the day of the CCSF rally downtown, this sign was left at the 24th Street BART station.

On the day of the CCSF rally downtown, this sign was left at the 24th Street BART station.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) on Thursday, accusing the private agency of “unlawfully allowing its advocacy and political bias to prejudice its evaluation of college accreditation standards,” and of being “a wholly unaccountable private entity,” according to a statement released by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT.)

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation group found the ACCJC to be out of compliance with criteria necessary for recognition by the department as an accrediting institution.

Joe Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said in a teleconference that followed the announcement, that legal avenues for challenging the ACCJC’s decision in July to revoke the college’s accreditation were being explored.

Yesterday, Pechthalt reported that he was heartened by Herrera’s decision to sue the accrediting commission. “The reckless actions of the agency and its president, Barbara Beno, have not only imperiled an education for 85,ooo San Francisco students, but also diverted enormous amounts of time and money in all our community colleges away from instruction and toward “compliance” with the ACCJC’s unreasonable demands,” he said.

The Department of Education informed the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges last week that in order to avoid initiation of action to limit, suspend or terminate their recognition as an accrediting institution, they must come into compliance with identified areas of non-compliance within the next 12 months.

“More and more people are now noticing the damage done by the AACJC to California’s community colleges,” Pechthalt said. “We are hopeful recent events will convince the Commission to rescind its wrongful dis-accreditation decision, and help put this rogue agency back on a more constructive track.”

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