CFT Resolves to Defend CCSF

Resolution in Defense of City College of San Francisco (CCSF)ccsf logo

(Adopted by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) Convention 2013 – March 15-17, 2013)

Whereas, CCSF has been widely acknowledged to be one of the best community colleges in the country, providing a rich array of esteemed programs such as Nursing, Radiology, Culinary and Hotel Management; and

Whereas, CCSF provides an indispensable education to approximately 90,000 students per year, most of whom come from working class, people of color and immigrant communities; and

Whereas, despite CCSF’s nationally recognized high quality and successful programs, CCSF has come under gross scrutiny and sanction by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC); and

Whereas, the current interim CCSF administration is using the accreditation process to threaten the diversity in programs and course offerings (e.g., Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies; African American Studies, Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies) through department consolidation; and

Whereas, the administration has cut class offerings, student support services and opportunity for student employment; and

Whereas, the administration has refused to negotiate in good faith with AFT 2121, SEIU 1021 and the Department Chairs Council (DCC); and

Whereas, the administration has unilaterally imposed severe pay cuts, workload speed-ups, lay-offs, and furlough days; and

Whereas, the administration is carrying out these attacks despite the passage in November [2012], by an overwhelming 73% of San Francisco voters, of Proposition A, which for the next eight years will bring $14 million to $16 million a year to CCSF, enough money to roll back cuts; and

Whereas, the administration is ignoring the voices of CCSF workers, students and voters of San Francisco; and

Whereas, public education in the United States is increasingly under attack from pro-corporate forces, such as the Lumina Foundation, whose aim is to down-size our public schools and promote for-profit and online institutions, thereby limiting access to quality education, undermining the teaching of critical thinking in the public schools that serve working class populations; and

Whereas, public employees in the United States are increasingly under attack from anti-union forces, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose aim is to undermine workers’ rights and drastically reduce salaries and benefits; and

Whereas, the administration is attempting to reverse the hard-won gains in equity for part-time faculty, and

Whereas, the administration, under pressure from the ACCJC, is carrying out the pro-corporate and anti-union agenda in our public schools; and

Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council endorsed the March 14 rally organized the Save CCSF Coalition; and

Whereas, a quality and affordable public education that provides lifelong learning, workplace and life skills, and cultural and personal enrichment is a human right.

Therefore, be it resolved that the CFT continue to support AFT 2121 and the Save CCSF Coalition in demanding that the San Francisco elected officials ensure that the CCSF administration use Proposition A funds as voters intended;

Therefore, be it further resolved that the CFT will remain informed of events at CCSF and help AFT 2121 and the Save CCSF Coalition safeguard CCSF’s quality, affordable and accessible education;

Therefore, be it finally resolved that the CFT will continue to provide material support for all aspects of this common struggle – politics, policy, collective bargaining, community action – for educational justice and quality public higher education.

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Demand Fair Governance of California Community Colleges

 

(Adopted by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) Convention 2013 – March 15-17, 2013. Submitted by the CFT Educational Issues Committee / Committee: Professional Issues Higher Education)

Whereas, the avowed and historic mission of public education in general, and of California’s Community Colleges in particular, is the enrichment of public life and promotion of the general welfare through maximum free access to educational enrichment for all who wish to study; and

Whereas, educational enrichment for all who wish to study encompasses both learning for gainful employment and lifelong learning in the broadest sense; and

Whereas, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and its subsidiary, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) form a powerful part of the governing mechanism of public education through their power to grant or withhold accreditation of schools; and

Whereas, WASC and ACCJC have historically stated their purpose as, “The purpose of the Commission is to foster excellence in elementary, secondary, adult and post-secondary institutions, and supplementary education programs; and

Whereas, WASC and ACCJC have historically been funded by their member schools and school systems to carry out the public mandate of safeguarding public education; and

Whereas, the lack of transparency and lack of accountability exhibited by WASC and its subsidiaries is contrary to its responsibilities to the public; and

Whereas, the new economy of austerity promoted by corporate forces demands that access to public education be sharply curtailed and the mission of public education be narrowed to suit corporate needs without regard to educational and public needs, specifically reduced tax load on corporations and the rich, corporatization and financialization of education for profitable purposes, a preparation of students to serve corporate needs through heavy indebtedness and low-paying jobs; and

Whereas, recent policy actions of ACCJC such as the accreditation attack upon City College of San Francisco reveal ACCJC’s and WASC’s alignment with the line of austerity being driven forward by corporate-linked forces in both the Democratic and Republican wings of the California state government; and

Whereas, it is increasingly clear that attacks and demands on individual institutions are used as test cases and probes for further expansion of the corporatization of public resources, including and especially public education; and

Whereas, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation (which is funded by the Student Loan Marketing Association) are both well-known and documented agents of corporate interests in monetizing public education; and

Whereas, WASC acceptance of funding from the Lumina Foundation ($1 million) and the Gates Foundation ($1.5 million) provides evidence that WASC, and ACCJC in particular, is yet another example of “regulatory capture” of a public-mandated agency by corporate forces, and a willing pawn in a strategic business plan driven by corporate power on a national and global scale; and

Whereas, it is increasingly clear that there is no middle ground between the public’s need for resources, including education, and the corporate power’s need to control, limit, reshape and destroy those resources.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers demand that WASC and its subsidiaries ACS (Accrediting Commission for Schools), ACCJC, and ACSCU (Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities) divest themselves from the Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation immediately; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT demands that WASC and its subsidiaries become publicly funded and publicly controlled organizations, fully transparent and accountable to the public power; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT demands that accreditation standards reflect the highest mission and standards of education for the public good as articulated in the California Master Plan for Higher Education, and not the standards of austerity and the marketplace, and will settle for nothing less; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT rejects ACCJC’s current demands that community colleges narrow their mission, cut classes, reduce and narrow student access, shift governance away from Joint Governance toward Administration Governance, fire faculty hiring administrators, sell off public property, and divert publicly voted funds from student and classroom needs to corporate-driven administration priorities; and

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT will join with its statewide and nationwide community partners and further build that network to campaign for the realization of these goals, beginning with community organization through parent, students and teachers to activate the public power necessary to enforce the will of the people on the government and institutions.