REPORT BACK FROM DC

CCSF students Lalo, Win-Mon, JJ, Alma, and Jas outside Congressman Alan Lowenthal's office on February 23, 2017 
CCSF students Lalo, Win-Mon, JJ, Alma, and Jas outside Congressman Alan Lowenthal’s office on February 23, 2017 

These CCSF students, along with faculty and other stakeholders from all over California, traveled across country to Washington DC to offer three minutes each of public comment at the NACIQI hearing on ACCJC.
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The moving and powerful testimony (to be posted soon on saveccsf.org website) extended most of Wednesday afternoon and demonstrated substantial non-compliance of ACCJC with federal regulations. Much of the testimony challenged the claim that ACCJC enjoys “wide acceptance” by educators. The few questions asked of commenters largely focused on the concern about what would happen if ACCJC were removed.
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The last comment by Bruce Boyden, a Commissioner from Compton, ended close to 6:00 pm. The meeting was adjourned (one hour late) with discussion postponed until the following morning. 
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In past years the discussion has been robust and fruitful. This time there was no discussion whatsoever. Within 5 minutes of opening the meeting the motion to recommend an 18 month extension of ACCJC’s authority was moved, seconded and passed. If you blinked you might have missed it.
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The recommendation was consistent with the problematic staff analysis report. In a departure of style and content from previous reports, it appeared to whitewash lack of ACCJC compliance. For example, contrary to the 2013 report (as well as the Secretary of Education’s 1/4/2016 Appeal Decision) the 2017 report determined that the number of support letters were “compelling to demonstrate wide acceptance.”
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In addition to the fact that the letters were extorted from member institutions – one of ACCJC’s standards requires institutions to comply with ACCJC requests or risk loss of accreditation – their criteria for “wide acceptance” is suspect. According to a legally required survey on ACCJC’s performance, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) responded as follows:
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DOE Regulation                AGREE                      DISAGREE
602.12 (b)                              63.1%                             23.8%
602.16(a)(1)(ii)                      64.8%                             29.2%
602.16(a)(1)(iii)                     60.4%                             32.0%
602.17 (a)                              63.0%                             30.0%
602.18 (c)                              54.4%                             34.3%
602.20 (b)                              58.0%                             32.6%
602.25                                    56.5%                             37.1%
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It appears that 60% approval is considered “wide acceptance” by NACIQI.
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While the outcome is not a victory, neither is it a defeat. The ACCJC continues to be on a short leash with the DOE and we will remain strong in our fight for fair accreditation and defending public education.
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