Why I'm resigning from the City College board

Chris Jackson

By Chris Jackson

When I worked for the state legislature, a member once told an overly ambitious guy that there are those who get into politics to be someone and those who get into politics to do something, and we have enough of the first type.

Serving on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees was always a means for me to work to connect underserved communities to education and eventually economic empowerment.

One of the first measures that I passed while on the board was to expand City College's Community/Outreach Ambassador to the Mission and the Southeast campuses. Through this program, City College was better able to do outreach to underserved communities.

Be it by protecting CCSF's GED program or child care sites, working with community leaders to continue to make the Mission campus an educational jewel to its residents, or working with Bayview advocates to ensure the Southeast campus' survival and eventual growth, I came to the CCSF Board of Trustees on a mission to help ensure that our most vulnerable populations are given access to education as a means of equity.

Although I've had amazing success and even made a few mistakes along the way, I don't want anyone to doubt my continued passion and commitment to the communities that CCSF serves. It is this passion to do something and not simply be a figurehead that has led me to the difficult decision to resign from the CCSF Board of Trustees.

The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, an unelected and publicly unaccountable organization, seeks to change the values and charge of City College from an inclusive, community-based and student-focused college to a simple junior college that serves the few and shares the values of the corporate education reform movement.

Even more disappointing has been our state Community College Board of Governors. Instead of performing its public-policy duties, the state Board of Governors, led by State Chancellor Brice Harris, has continued to allow itself to be bullied by the ACCJC to the point where there is a serious question of who really sets public policy for the 112 colleges in our statewide system: our publicly appointed Board of Governors or the unelected, unaccountable private ACCJC.

It pains me to see the scope of our class offerings pared back, our community-based campus continually threatened with closure, much-needed academic counselors laid off, and our Second Chance program for ex-offenders with an over 900-student waiting list. It pains me even more to be sidelined by Harris and our public Board of Governors and watch them shrink and cower to the power of Barbara Beno and her private ACCJC.

But in the face of this challenge to our public education, I see hope. Students like Trustee Shannell Williams, Student President Oscar Pena and former Trustee William Walker rallying students to stand up for their public education give me hope. The American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 and the Save CCSF coalition have become rallying points not just for the immediate CCSF community, but for the larger SF community. Their bravery in the face of the withering attacks on public higher education should be commended and be a model that others should follow. At this moment, there exists the base for a long-lasting coalition of students, educators, and community fighting for the high-quality, affordable education.

Thank you for the opportunity to do something to make an impact in people's lives. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees.

Chris Jackson was elected to the CCSF Board of Trustees in 2008.



...You quit. With leadership like this, no wonder City College is such a mess. And this is a hell of a lesson for a trustee to teach the kids going to school. Good riddance.

Posted by BeckyBayside on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 10:19 am

ditto the part about "good riddance" but for completely different reasons/FACTS. this guy sat on the board for successive terms during the YEARS the accreditation folk were admonishing CCSF to clean up their act. the admonishment was intended as a carrot i.e., clean up your act stay in business. under the circumstances, they had no choice but to resort to the stick. with crucification and resurrection, hopefully lessons will be learned, the hemorrhaging will stop, and the future for CCSF will be better for all.

$23 to $26 million short fall is just the immediate future. NOTE: leno does not say where the money will come from ; got any guess` ?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

This OpEd seems like Jackson is just trying to pad his resume. Why not be straight forward and say why you quit.

This OpEd has the Sarah Palin ring to quit when she quit as Govenor of Alaska.

I would much rather Jackson be up front and give the simple reason why he is stepping aside.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 3:56 am

Does anyone know if Jackson has filed the necessary paperwork with the SF Election Board. Until he does that he can change his mind at any time.

Either Jackson is using this as a political stunt or he is so genuinely clueless that he thinks saying "I quit" magically makes it so.

Posted by count2ten on Dec. 04, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

none of the previously OUSTED entire board has any credibility, zero this guy is full of baloney, and rotten baloney at that. Resign ? this guy got kicked out on his unworthy ass like the rest.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

This tragic situation does not need more snipers taking easy shots (like guest) and making unfounded claims (like BeckyBayside). The stakes are high and the "reformers" are relentless, powerful, and backed by big money.

I have watched and read everything. I have not seen any solid *evidence* that City College is, or was, "a mess," which is so vague as to mean anything anyway. A mess. What kind of mess? Excellent graduation and transfer rates, support of the community, outreach programs that are models for other colleges, long term experienced staff and teachers who are devoted to the students and the mission of the community college. How is that a "mess?"

Chris Jackson has my sympathy, too, because I doubt that any of the trustees can do much of anything, they must defer to the special trustee and the FCMAT. Basically they just need to show up and approve everything that's handed to them, and what's being handed to them for approval is the agenda that Chris describes so accurately.

My guess is he is being tactful and vague out of concern for retaliation against the college. Or maybe paving his way to becoming a *more* effective leader in the community than he can as a trustee.

Stop being such haters and read up on issues before you start insulting people and making wild claims about what you "know" is true.

Posted by Magpie on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 10:11 am

he/they have your sympathy. you are a chump ! these morons were the trustees providing oversight over the administration, dumb ass. they were the ones at the proverbial wheel when the bus went over the cliff. I have been following this story for years, I don't need to read up nothin. YOU are the one that needs to educate your dumb ass on the historical facts hayseed.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

You have "watched and read everything", Really ?
you "have not seen any solid evidence", Really ?
say your prayers and eat your vegetables honey cause you are gonna need all the help your ignorant ass can get ; and I do mean ignorant !

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

office. Everyone knows that's what the "lesser" boards (CCSF, SFUSD, BART) are for. Witness Rafael Mandleman - magically his burning interest in city government was converted into a burning interest in higher education after he lost his race for D8 supervisor, so he then decided to run for CCSF's board. The reverse is true in Jane Kim's case - she used the SFUSD board to launch herself onto the BOS. David Campos is attempting to scamper from BOS to the Assembly because all along what's he's REALLY cared about is state government - when he returns to SF to run for mayor or US Representative we'll be treated to a speech on how his REAL love has always been city/federal government.

None of these politicians "care." They're all just cynical assholes looking at how to move from one elected position to another. Jackson is perhaps more honest than the others - he knew he was wasting his time at CCSF.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

another example is leno who coincidentally was on the BOS during the MANY years that the accreditation agency was admonishing CCSF. leno is another culprit that was at the scene of the crime and is just as culpable as jackson by failing in his fiduciary role as a city "supervisor"

you give jackson too much credit for knowing "he was wasting his time", as evidenced by the calamitous situation currently.

leno, ammiano, campos, lee, neusom, etcetera,etcetera, all snakes in the grass.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

Seems kinda funny for Mr. Jackson to say he is resigning his CCSF board seat when the board was disbanded a couple months back. The time for tough talk and action from the City College board of trusties was back when they actually had a chance to do something about the mess that has become CCSF. What a sad legacy for Jackson and his fellow board members – to stand by the sidelines and watch the rudderless ship that is CCSF crash into the rocks and sink into San Francisco Bay.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

It certainly feels better for the supporters of the board.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

"sad legacy" ? your pitying this guy ? Really ? UNBELIEVABLE !
this guy was front and center as the "rudderless ship" was heading for the"rocks", for many YEARS, literally.
CCSF was given multiple chances to get their act together. Eventually doesn't sanity dictate when enough is enough ?
Current short fall projections from chancellor #3, in as many years is, $23-$26 MILLION. NOTE, leno's does not say from where money will be derived. Got any guesses ?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

Chris Jackson took the only honorable path. His resignation is indicative of a kind of courage many CCSF affiliates - other than students, AFT 2121 and the SF City Attorney's Office - refused to show. Had there been a unified effort at the beginning of the fiasco the ACCJC is generating, their viability ( along with that of WASC, ACE, and a number of other rather worthless accrediting agencies and advisory organizations ) would have been questioned, millions of dollars would have been saved, and many students would have suffered fewer hardships. Let's characterize the problem from afar: does anyone notice an incongruity with the times and the
fiscal hardships that evidenced in this clip taken from a recent issue of City Watch: "Oakland Attorney Rafael Mandleman after an unusual conversation with ACCJC president Beno in May 2013....... Mandelman says he ran into Beno at a community college trustees conference held at the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe.
And who do you think paid the bill at the Ritz Carlton for ACCJC attendants
along with other Community College officials. Here friends, is a root of the problem.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 22, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

this guy and every other member of the bored of trustees should be put in front of a firing squad. This guy has been on the bore for successive terms while the place was burning and he played the fiddle. this guy is guilty of malfeasance is as culpable as anyone could be. this guy has zero credibility and even less for spine

Posted by Guest on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

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