Come to the Save CCSF Coalition General Assembly

Ocean Campus—-MUB 160

February 3, 2016—–5:30-7:30pm

Students after NACIQI hearing - Barbara Beno in background at far left
Students after NACIQI hearing – Barbara Beno in background at far left

Updates on Victories / Continuing Issues

  • NACIQI (DOE) recommendation that gave ACCJC only 6 months to come into compliance
  • Draconian payment policy suspended – thanks to our amazing student organizers
  • A special update on the Alex Nieto case
  • Speaker from the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition
  • Update on reservoir development / PAEC
  • Faculty contract fight

… and MORE

Plug in to the organizing

Our struggle is far from over. We need to rebuild our City College to the open, affordable, accessible and diverse college our students deserve.

Mark your calendars for future GAs

  • General Assembly: March 16, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, MUB 160
  • General Assembly:    April 27, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, MUB 270

EngineersColossalDeception

The Colossal Deception

  • The colossal deception that has been unfolding since 2012 is unraveling. This deception has its origins in the 2012 decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in California, the ACCJC, to place City College of San Francisco on “Show Cause,” the most severe sanction that can be imposed on an institution short of revoking its accreditation. This decision, and the one that followed a year later, to revoke CCSF’s accreditation a year out in 2014, led to a state takeover of the school, and the imposition of a Special Trustee With Extra Ordinary Powers, or STWEP. In plain English, the STWEP is a lone trustee with dictatorial powers, imposed on CCSF by the State Chancellor and the unelected Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. The elected City College Board of Trustees was suspended and the STWEP was imposed, ostensibly, to save CCSF from loss of accreditation.To watch this grand deception unravel should bring satisfaction to no one, given the destruction left in its wake. No part of CCSF has been left unscathed in this spectacle; no part of it has emerged untarnished. The various corrupt components of the state takeover, and its ineptitude, are now clear and beyond dispute. Over 23,000 students, more than 25 percent of the2011-12 enrollment, have fallen away, including even higher percentages of the most at-risk students. Several departments, especially the Diversity and Social Justice departments, face a continuing and increasing threat to their existence.Some hailed this takeover as a positive step in “fixing” CCSF. This included Mayor Lee, who accepted, without question, the ACCJC’s claim that CCSF was a “failed institution.” The SF Chronicle was also a cheerleader for the now discredited ACCJC and its decision. We were told that, among other positive things, this was an opportunity to bring about changes that would improve the school, and the success of its students, in particular the most marginalized students, notably students of color, working class students, single parents, etc. The adherents of this viewpoint argued that those who were placed in control of the school would replace endemic poor management with good management, and would eliminate haphazard and politically motivated decision making with a process based on integrity and sound judgment. Under the watch of the new regime, we were supposed to see a rational, prudent use of the financial resources of the school in place of alleged financial mismanagement and reckless spending. We were promised an end to wasteful and irresponsible use of finances on such unacceptable things as the alleged unjustifiably high salaries of faculty and classified employees. Thus, the first act in this “responsible” financial policy was to unilaterally cut faculty and classified wages by nearly 12%, while going on to clandestinely increase the salaries of selected administrators to as high as 19%. The second act was to institute an unnecessarily aggressive and draconian payment policy that dropped 9124 students from all their classes over only four semesters, primarily those who are the most vulnerable. (After sustained protest by students and others, this payment policy has been suspended.)

    All of this took place under the autocratic rule of the Special Trustee, shortly promoted to STWEP, and two interim chancellors, the first, incredibly destructive, the second, incredibly inept. The first interim Chancellor, Pamila Fisher, who frequently consulted by phone with Barbara Beno, proposed and pushed through a shell-shocked Board of Trustees, a college “reorganization plan” that included the firing of all of the deans, requiring those that wanted to retain their positions to formally reapply for them. It also involved a “departmental restructuring” that would have effectively destroyed the departmental structure as a whole. Fisher proposed eliminating all but seven of the 62 department chairs. This tremendously disruptive and destructive “reorganization plan” was announced at a time when CCSF had less than eight months to correct 14 “deficiencies” outlined by the ACCJC in their “Show Cause” report. This plan was certain to insure CCSF’s failure in its attempts to retain its accreditation, at least under the conditions set up by the ACCJC. But that didn’t stop the second interim chancellor, Thelma Scott-Skillman, from embracing this “reorganization plan,” and attempting to push it forward. As could be expected, the ACCJC claimed that we had not met the conditions to retain accreditation and that our accreditation would be revoked at the end of July 2014. The State Chancellor then decided that the suspension of the Board of Trustees was necessary to retain CCSF’s accreditation. This suspension was justified on the grounds that the Board was “dysfunctional.”

    The results of this disastrous takeover now scream loudly and tragically for all to see, except, perhaps, those who remain steadfastly determined not to. Viewing all of this through the lens of political history, the whole thing is best understood as a grand coup, typical in its justifications and its promises, and complete with its dramatic, but predictable, failure. Neither the reign of an ordinary Special Trustee, nor that of a Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers, was able to secure CCSF’s continued accreditation. Both utterly failed. More than this, they wrought havoc on our school. The misuse of district funds that took place under their watch has now come to light .

    Even more damning is the fact that the STWEP was responsible for hiring the now departed chancellor whose use of district funds is in question; that chancellor in turn hired the now departed college president who is implicated along with him in this financial mischief. Nor was this the only administrator hired by the STWEP whose performance turned out to be far less than stellar.

    We now have our Board of Trustees (presumably) back in power, and a Special Trustee who lingers, but whose only role is that of advisor (for which he receives an exorbitant salary). We have much work to do, however, to rebuild a CCSF that continues to remain open, affordable, accessible, and diverse. Our struggle for such a school is far from over. Please join in accomplishing this task.

Report Back from DC

students at NACIQI
At far left in the background is Barbara Beno talking to three women. In foreground: Students Lalo, JJ, Itzel, Win Mon, Julia, A.D., and Martin

 

37 of the 41 people who gave oral comments before NACIQI on December 16th offered reasons as to why the ACCJC should have its authorization as a regional accreditor revoked. The comments were heartfelt, data-driven and compelling. Three of the four who spoke  in defense of the commission  were seated ACCJC commissioners, two of whom did not identify themselves as such.

Here are some of the comments offered. (This document will be updated as more commenters send the webmaster their scripts.)

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OralComment-WASC-ACCJC-Compilation

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NACIQI’s decision to give the ACCJC six more months to come into compliance was, according to Inside Higher Ed, “the strongest rebukes of an accreditor that the panel typically makes, short of calling on the department to revoke its recognition entirely.”

It was clear from the deliberations that many of the NACIQI members felt that the ACCJC was incapable or unwilling to come into compliance. However, they were fearful of the vacuum that would result if ACCJC were de-listed. If they could have seen an easy path to a new accreditor to replace ACCJC, most likely they would have revoked ACCJC’s recognition.

Brice Harris has asked the Board of Governers to outline a plan by March 2016.

Read more at:

FACCC Report on NACIQI Hearing

The Academe Blog of the AAUP

AFT2121 Article

Chronicle of Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed
SF Examiner

 

An Open Letter to Guy Lease, Chancellor Lamb and the City College Board of Trustees

Stop Hemorrhaging Enrollment at City College: End the Racist Payment Policy

Read the  Payment Policy Open Letter

Finger pointingFinancial aid cut-backs and new push-out policies written into the so-called Student Success Act have started a war on students. New regulations and bureaucratic barriers are pushing them out of community college, towards predatory student loans, the for-profit colleges, or endless low-wage work.

The California Community College system has shrunk from 2.9 million students in 2008, to 2.1 million students in 2015, and City College has shrunk from 100,000 students in 2008 to 65,000 today. Push-out policies are now squeezing out the very students who depend on community college the most. What’s happening and why?

Cuts to the Federal Pell Grant

Are you taking longer than expected to finish at your community college? Your Pell Grant might be used up before you even transfer to a four-year university, pressuring you into a student loan!

  • In 2012, the U.S. Congress reduced Pell Grant eligibility from 18 semesters to 12 semesters and eliminated summer Pell Grants. This will reduce total Pell Grant funding by 50 billion dollars over 10 years.
  • Pell now covers only one third of the cost of attending college, the lowest in 40 years.

More than 8 million students rely on the Pell Grant to attend college (more than 60% of African Americans and half of Latino students).

Harsh Payment Policy Adopted by Administration in January 2013

Owe $28 in library fines? Waiting in long lines to see a financial aid counselor? Better hurry… pay up or get out!

  • Starting in January 2013, CCSF administration implemented a new payment policy which forces already-enrolled students to pay fees and small back debts before financial aid arrives.
  • Students who can’t pay are pressured to take out a loan from the predatory student loan company Nelnet, or else are robo-dropped from all their classes. The impact is worst on undocumented students and out of state students, who may find themselves owing several thousand dollars.
  • The administration is willing to forego state appropriations of up to $4,676 for each full-time student, while the average back payment is only $200. This only makes sense if the goal is downsizing and privatization.
  • Neither the students nor the college benefit from this policy, only predatory student loan companies and for-profit colleges.

Course Repeatability Rules

Need a few tries to pass that important math class? Sorry.

  • In 2013 colleges start enforcing “3 strikes and you’re out;” only three withdrawals from a course, then you can NEVER try again.

Trying to master hip-hop dance or art? Repeatability rules will put a to that!

  • In 2014-15, colleges start enforcing that students can only take four skills-based classes in a “family” (i.e. music, dance, or art classes). This blocks working class people from developing a high level of skill in their art, and makes majoring in the arts nearly impossible. It also destabilizes music, art and physical education departments that communities have relied on for decades.

So-Called “Academic Progress” Rule

Life happened and you suddenly had to walk away from classes? Ready to try college again? “Academic Progress” will end community college as the place for second chances, the place where students can hit the re-set button on their lives.

  • Set to take effect in fall 2016, this new state policy denies fee waivers and priority registration to students who over two semesters, either fall below a “C” average or who do not complete 50% of their classes.
  • This policy will cause 42,000 students statewide to lose their BOG Fee Waivers, including large numbers of African American, Latino, Pacific Islander, and disabled students.

Unit Caps

Are you an older student hoping to upgrade your skills? Not ready to stop learning? This policy says your time is up. Limit exceeded.

  • Starting in 2014, students with more than 90 units get sent to the very back of the enrollment line and often won’t get the classes they need.

 

Bureaucratic Barriers to Enrollment

Bureaucratic barriers set requirements, but don’t give students what they need to meet the requirements.

  • New policies require students to have an educational plan in place, but then over 30 part-time counselors were laid off at City College after the accreditation crisis.
  • Students are robo-dropped from all their classes if they haven’t paid small debts before financial aid arrives, yet major cuts in financial aid staff makes it hard for students to get through complex paperwork.
  • New policies discourage part-time and lifelong learners (for example someone who already has a bachelor’s degree) from taking classes, and the enrollment website makes it almost impossible to sign up.

 

Why is this happening?

The person who wrote most of these policies, Amy Supinger, was the executive director of the so-called Student Success Task Force. After writing up the 22 new restrictive measures, Supinger went through the golden revolving door, leaving her job as a state government analyst, for a lucrative position with the Lumina Foundation. Lumina was set up in 2000 by the Student Loan Marketing Corporation (Sallie Mae), the country’s dominant student loan company.

As part of its downstream business strategy, Sallie Mae transferred its CEO, four board members, and 770 million dollars to start Lumina. While veiling the hand of the despised student loan industry, Lumina advocates for millions more college degrees, heavy 15-unit class loads per semester (so students can’t work their way through college), yet less public funding for colleges and universities. In short, Lumina’s policies add up to a recipe for a huge ballooning of student debt, already at 1.3 trillion and counting.

 

–Written by the Research Committee to Save City College, rescomm11@gmail.com The contact person is Allan Fisher.

Teach-ins Rally & March

Learn at the Teach-Ins then MARCH AND RALLY FOR OUR CCSF
—-STOP THE CUTS & FAIR 770ee200-2671-4ed5-aa92-7bf9fcb916beCONTRACT NOW!

During the accreditation crisis, City College students and workers fought alongside our community for CCSF. Now Administration intends to shrink classes by 26%, layoff more than a quarter of the faculty, and refuses to negotiate a fair faculty contract. Help us defend a City College for everyone!

Thursday, Nov. 12th, 2015  
1:30 PM: MARCH for CCSF

from CCSF Downtown  (88 4th St. @ Mission)

to CCSF Civic Center (1170 Market St. @ UN Plaza)

2:00 PM: RALLY for CCSF

Next General Assembly Meeting This Tuesday!

CELEBRATE VICTORIES – ORGANIZE FOR MORE!
Tuesday, September 29th, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Ocean Campus – MUB 240

We will celebrate our recent victories (come to find out what they are if you don’t already know) and strategize for more.

Please help with these or other potential projects:

  • Organize pickets in support of the faculty negotiations to win a fair contract. Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions!
  • Pressure our administration to focus on building enrollment. Instead they are focused on reducing classes in order to increase “productivity” (essentially the ratio of students/faculty in a class.)
  • End the push-out policies such as the aggressive payment policy that has pushed out hundreds if not thousands of low income students.
  • Fight land grabs.
  • End the state control. We need to get rid of the special trustee who has veto power over our democratically elected board of trustees. He is acting behind the scenes and on the behalf of the state chancellor to further carry out the agenda of the discredited ACCJC.

 

OVER 50 PUBLIC COMMENTS AND 20 REQUESTS FROM ORAL COMMENT WERE SUBMITTED TO DOE TO GET ACCJC DE-AUTHORIZED

Our own board of trustees sent a written comment and will also send a representative to Washington to give oral comment. We are well on our way to putting this hammer for the corporate agenda out of business!
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.We are organizing a team will go to the hearing in Washington D.C. to give oral public comments, as we did in December 2013. Our presence at that time was influential in their ultimate decision to put ACCJC on the “show cause” status.
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Please donate online to help fund this effort!
Or you can send a check made out to
Save CCSF Coalition
1249 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA  94117

Submit Public Comment to get the ACCJC Delisted! DEADLINE: Sept 25, 2015

This is our opportunity to put this rogue agency out of business!.
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Must be submitted by email by Sept. 25th

INSTRUCTION: For Non-CCSF People to Submit
Must be submitted by email by Sept. 25th

Must be submitted by email by Sept. 25th to reserve your spot to appear in Wash. D.C. on Dec 16-18, 2015
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The Secretary’s letter from DOE to ACCJC
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Click here for a detailed explanation of how the renewal process for an accrediting agency works and where the ACCJC is in this process.

ItzelLaloGoToWashington
A team from CCSF will go to the hearing in Washington, D.C. on December 16-18, 2015 to submit oral public comments, as we did in December 2013. Our presence at that time was influential in their decision to put ACCJC on their own “show-cause” status.

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Please donate online to help fund this effort!
Or you can send a check made out to
Save CCSF Coalition
1249 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Brief Story:
The ACCJC gets its authority from the US Department of Education (DOE). Many of you are aware that, spurred by the CFT complaint filed in April 2013, the DOE issued a letter to the ACCJC identifying 15 federal regulations with which the ACCJC was out of compliance. They were given a year to come into compliance, essentially putting them on their own “show cause.”

The ACCJC will come before a NACIQI (National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity) hearing this December. NACIQI will consider various documents including ACCJC’s report, a staff analysis report, and written third party comments. Oral third party comments will be allowed at the hearing. Then NACIQI will then make a recommendation to the DOE as to whether or not to reauthorize the ACCJC.

A More Detailed Story:
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how the renewal process for an accrediting agency works and where the ACCJC is in this process.

STATE CHANCELLOR’S TASK FORCE ON ACCREDITATION SAYS TO DUMP THE ACCJC!

The recently released and long-awaited California Community College Chancellor’s Task Force Report on Accreditation and the practices of the ACCJC confirms unequivocally that the agency is no longer widely accepted by educators and educational institutions. The report, compiled by a blue-ribbon panel of California community college experts, including college presidents, administrators, elected trustees, and faculty, found that the “California Community College system and its member institutions have lost confidence in the ACCJC” and that the colleges and the system need to transition to another accreditor. Read the articles!

DEMAND THAT THE PUC DEVELOP BALBOA RESERVOIR ACCOMODATING CCSF INTERESTS, INCLUDING THE PAEC!

The PUC-owned western half of Balboa Reservoir has been designated for development and sale to private interests to increase available housing stock in SF.

The second Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee will meet on Monday September 14th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Lick-Wilmerding Cafeteria. (755 Ocean Avenue – across the street from the CCSF Wellness Center.).

The main subjects of the 9/14 meeting will be:parking lot full

  1. Housing parameters
  2. Urban design & neighborhood character
  3. CCSF Master Plan update