Fight to save City College grows teeth and bites back

Another party joins the fray against the accrediting commission that is trying to close City College.
Photo by Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner, Illustration by SFBG

Saving City College of San Francisco became a bigger battle yesterday when the California Federation of Teachers announced a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court to keep CCSF open.

The suit is directed against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which pronounced the college’s death sentence July 3 by promising to revoke its accreditation in a year, without which a school cannot receive state funding and its students cannot get federal loans. 

Now, the ACCJC finds itself the institution under investigation by the feds and even City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and the CFT lawsuit is the latest legal challenge to the accreditors. 

The CFT charged the accrediting commission with using unfair and illegal business practices in its efforts to abolish City College. When asked for a statement about the impending lawsuit, ACCJC representative Tom Lane declined to comment.

“The ACCJC must be held accountable for their reckless, irresponsible and illegal actions,” CFT President Joshua Pechtalt explained at the Sept. 23 press conference held on the steps of City Hall, where the suit was announced. More importantly, Pechtalt said, winning this lawsuit could potentially stop the closure of CCSF.

A group of students, faculty, and elected officials stood with Pechtalt on the stone steps. One by one, they enumerated the improper activities that will be the basis of their lawsuit against the ACCJC: failing to adhere to its own policies and bylaws, violations of state and federal laws, and sanctioning CCSF without just cause.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano said that the illegal behavior must stop here and now.

“The blatant lack of transparency, the loose interpretation of the rules, all seen through a lens of hubris and elitism, cannot continue,” he said. “San Francisco is our backyard and the college is our treasure.”

While Ammiano admitted that CCSF is not without its flaws and areas in need of improvement, he was quick to assert that closing the college was not the solution. “Stay out of our backyard unless you have something constructive to say,” he declared.

CCSF Student Trustee Shanell Williams assured the crowd that the lawsuit would be won. “The diverse population of the San Francisco Bay Area, including working families, single parents, new immigrants and others, depends greatly on this college being here,” she said. “If we lose City, we are going to be on our way to being an indentured, working class state.”

If the ACCJC succeeds in San Francisco, it will pave the way for identical treatment of other schools across the state, Williams said. Likewise, CCSF triumphing over the commission would be a victory for every community college in California.

Sup. David Campos also recognized the vital importance of CCSF’s continued existence. “We cannot have the American dream alive in San Francisco if City College closes,” he said. “This fight is about the soul of our city. ”

The US Department of Education has cited the ACCJC for failing to follow its own rules and procedures. A month ago, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee began investigating the commission. The following day, Herrera filed a lawsuit against the ACCJC, claiming it had illegally allowed its advocacy and political bias to prejudice its evaluation of college accreditation standards.

A new report released by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst on Sept. 16 detailed the economic impact to San Francisco if City College were to close. The report was requested by Supervisor Eric Mar. We’ve detailed some of the report’s findings in the infographic below. 

ccsf closure infographic 



Publisher here. This is an original graphic -- although, yes, a dark cloud hovering is a very general concept. Can you point me in the direction of what you're referencing? We would never deliberately rip off another publication, thanks. 

Posted by marke on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

I'm not afraid to use my name, unlike "guest."

I served on the CCSF Accreditation Commission back in the 1980's. Although CCSF had problems then, there was certainly no thought whatsoever of denying tens of thousands of students a cost-effective education for alleged deficiencies which have nothing to do with the quality of education. (OK, not enough money in reserves - so shut down the college?)

Shame on the Accrediting Commission for trying to be big shots and throw their weight around. Thanks to Tom Ammiano, Dennis Herrera, and David Campos for speaking up...(but where's Ed Lee?)

Posted by Bill Collins on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:36 pm
Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

If it wasn't then registration would be required but SFBG have always preferred commentary here to be open, accessible, equal and free.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

when a bunch of conflict addicted assholes are being allowed to make the blog comments sections such a toxic pit of abusive disrespect, that the actual readers are almost completely driven away from participating out of sheer disgust with the experience

if such a conversation were happening in an open in person public forum, such acerbic assholes would quickly be asked to leave, and no one would be accused of censorship for getting rid of them

the conversation here is not open or free to all, because *most* don't want to have anything to do with it, but *would* participate if there was a decent registration system

Posted by racer x on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

and it appears to work quite well over there. I've long advocated SFBG use the same.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

the same name in all forums that use Disqus, so that people can "follow" you if they wish to.

However, that aside, it still works off the only things it can work off i.e. email and IP addresses. There is nothing to stop someone having multiple accounts under Disqus. And there is absolutely no way it can be used to suppress opinions that some people here seem unable to tolerate.

The only step beyond that is for each post to require moderator intervention for it to appear. But that requires a lot of work and posts would take hours to upload. Result? Far fewer people would use it and it would become useless.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

basis that you happen to hold a different political perspective.

So if there was your hypothetical public forum, then you would be the one evicted for trying to suppress free speech.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

Please do not under-estimate the intelligence of an average reader. A reader can distinguish valid ideas from bullshits. Let the reader decide to go on reading the posts in his blog or go find other blogs to voice their opinion. There are numerous on-line publication for the same subject (e.g. CCSF Accreditation), a reader can choose to leave comments on any of them. The fact that this blog is always active says this block is doing something unique and right. You can put as many "barriers" as you like, when people wants to read, they just skip over your barrier posts.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

can feel that he is doing something about it when he sees an argument that he doesn't like but lacks the intelligence to refute.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

Isn't a major failing of true believers.

Posted by Matlock on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

Amen to that, racer x! I think many thoughtful readers would comment, if the sfbg comments section were not the puddle of nastiness that it is. It's discouraging that the Guardian editors don't care enough to apply some easy fixes such as registration, no posting as "guest", and monitoring and removal of insults, pointless personal arguments, and profanity. With reforms in place, real and civil discussions could inform us all and add a great deal of value to the articles themselves.

Posted by Voltairesmistress on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

have to read something that you disagree with.

You don't want debates - you want an echo chamber.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

if this blog were not so proliferated with toxic, juvenile, smart-assed personal abuse and brainless caustic rush-limbaugh-esque nonsense, that it is essentially impossible to plow through it all to locate and comfortably read -real- opinions in legitimate debate

this blog comments section is a fucking hell hole that no one in their right mind enjoys reading

the only reason that i am participating right now, is that i am seeking to help drive out the rats' nest and make this site a true, and edifying, public forum

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

troll barrier BS.

The rest of us just want to debate issues and, yes, it's OK that opinions get expressed that you don't like and, the same, that I do not like.

Lighten up and be tolerant - it's a SF value and part of our diversity.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

Just make your own blog. Advertise it and advise people to comment on your blog and only on your blog. They will follow your rules and only your rules.

I happen to like this blog a lot and enjoy reading it.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

That if you don't like website A, then there's websites B thru Z as an alternative. Or of course set up your own as you say.

Seems that racer/lilli lacks the skills to do that and so demands that this site be exactly what he wants. Very intolerant, and I respect diversity far too much to adopt such a rigid posture.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

is a bunch of asinine trolls plastering it with personal mental excrement and wrecking it for everyone else

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

not agree on is who those trolls are.

We think it is you.

You think it is us.

It's an entirely subjective notion and therefore not worth sweating over.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

if its not worth sweat don't expend any

why not just, shut up

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:34 pm
Posted by anon on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

we are way past the jump now and no-one is even paying attention

and the concept that you are doing anything to bite anyone's butt, is amusing

you're the one now allowing yourself to be trolled

you seem to be expending a *lot* of sweat complaining about troll barriers and claiming threads about them aren't worth anyone's - sweat

and the reality is

these barriers really are kicking your and other trolls' asses

let's see how long you last out of sheer ape-pecking-order ego stubbornness before you go irritate people somewhere else

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

All from SFBG comments:

racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 6:01 pm: "giving yourself a lot of credit there sparky"

Eric Brooks on Nov. 17, 2011 @ 5:10 pm "Lighten Up There Sparky... Easy there... cut down on the coffee Sparky"

Eric Brooks on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 6:23 pm "Ok Sparky. Taking it a little too seriously now."

Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 1:02 pm "So, why don't you cut down on the coffee and lighten up there Sparky..."

Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 11:35 pm "Whoa there sparky..! Time to lay of the meth and get some sleep."

Posted by Who What Where How on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

lots of people use that nickname as a pejorative

the truth is

racer x, is racer x

i used other handles a long time ago but am only using that one now

one of them was the first anonymous with a small 'a'

you'll find that in almost every case, i was just hunting trolls

my main hobby during down time

Posted by racer x on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

keeps getting his ass kicked in debates here.

racer is laboring under the delusion that if he keeps posting the same thing over and over that all his opponents will just leave. The reality is that everyone ignores his posts and carries on with the serious business of debating issues.

We were here before racer and we will be here after. He's not nothing.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 6:20 am

i am perfectly pleased to be confused with brooks

what i've noticed is that wherever trolls try to take him on, they end up shutting up, because it quickly becomes clear they don't know what the fuck they are talking about, and he uses replies that make it difficult to post a troll trap as a response

which is exactly why i rarely need to place troll barriers in conversations you clownish idiots have with him

if you were paying attention you would have noticed that fact

in the end it really doesn't matter who the original troll barrier poster was because now more than one legitimate reader are effectively using them

and despite your hopeless, strident, overweening protestations to the contrary

they are working ;)

Posted by racer x on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 6:43 am

If we reply to, say, Eric, then we are trolling.

While if we don't reply to him then that's somehow proof that he's correct?

What you are really saying there is that we should respond to every post here, no matter how dumb it is, because otherwise it will be assumed that that poster is 100% correct.

In Eric's case, he now seems to post only on the clean energy bore these days. He used to post on a wide range of topics but regularly got his clock cleaned here. He's sticking to knitting now and only posts on the one topic that he thinks he is knowledgeable about.

And while Eric posts only on this one issue now, others like Greg, Eddie, Monk etc. have left because they lost so many debates here that it was getting embarrassing for them.

And all you have is games. No substance. Likewise Lilli insofar as he isn't you anyway.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:16 am

It was just pointless to waste time "discussing" issues with you nihilists posing as moderates, conservatives, or libertarians.

Hats off to you for your great accomplishment of compulsively and anonymously dominating the comment pages of a website and turning it into shit. Reverse alchemy. A Nobel Prize for comment debating, better said tomfoolery, no doubt awaits you.

Posted by Eddie on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

That way I see the later posts first. Others do that too, judging by the posting patterns.

So bumping a post onto a subsequent page makes it more probable that it will be read.

You really haven't thought this through, have you, Sparky?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 6:22 am

once a post is bumped past the jump, clicking on it doesn't send you to the page it's on

the average joe and jane reader doesn't want to go to the trouble of scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page to then click 'next' to see the second, etc pages of comments because they know those comments are probably lame troll bullshit

so the number of readers of your crap once it drops past the front page of course drops precipitously

why do you think i'm actually still debating you stupid fucks right now genius?

nobody besides ourselves (and maybe marcos and greg) are paying any attention to this obscure fucking conversation

but i'm very much enjoying sticking up in your face the fact that i finally developed a technique that is shutting you fuckers down

and i will be here RELIGIOUSLY fucking up you pathetic losers with these barriers until you are long gone

count on it

Posted by racer x on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:04 am

unless it's on the first page? Really? What kind of browser are you running?

It's trivially easy to find a recent post on a multi-page thread because it is invariably on the last page, since that is the most recent one (duh).

It seems clear that that is how people here read multi-page threads because my posts get replied to equally regardless of which page they are on. Otherwise how could threads get to 4, 6 or even 8 pages? It's because the rest of us know how to navigate the site easily.

And this is further evidence that you are Lilli, because he is clueless about tech issues as well.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:20 am


that's the point

seems to me it's you that is clueless that the average reader who is not a computer blog addict will not remotely bother to the trouble of scrolling a page down so they can find and read your idiotic drivel

the fact that the same tiny handful of readers who fall for your trolling keep debating you past the jump on thread after thread, certainly does not prove that most readers are the slightest bit interested in what you have to say

anyway, i'm done playing with trolls for the day

have fun with your endless debates with each other here in the black hole of the comments section

Posted by racer x on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:43 am

Still, given the disinformation & uncorrected misinformation propagated by The Chronicle and The Examiner that directly contributes to drops in enrollment, as many students thought that CCSF was already unaccredited based on sensational headlines and editorials-as-reporting.

It's just too tempting to take the troll traps as a chance to enter facts into the record for the minority of readers that peruse comments on controversial issues, given the depth of the trolls' ignorance.

Enjoy the night off, Racer! Off to work myself.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

to amplify your message

(the very message they foolishly think they are diminishing)

but please not in way that makes reading the blog a chore ;)

Posted by racer x on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

Informs people to ignore the other barriers and instead follow this barrier.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

this is simply a Mumiy Troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that Mumiy Troll is the best band ever to come out of Vladivostok

the barrier is put in place to signal there are simply not enough missiles being fired in most rock videos

proceed at your own risk

Posted by Mumiy Troll Barrier on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

That's hardly news, is it?

But since they are a big part of the reason why CCSF failed, it's also ironic.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

Well said

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

Or are you not actually reading the articles you comment on?

Posted by saintlennybruce on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:31 am

....that never happens.

Jeez - who cares. Never seen so much whining in my life over a failed institution.

Anyone know the number of JCs accredited this year in the state with CCSF being the ONE EXCEPTION??!




Jeez - what a bad joke. Somehow 100 JCs managed to get accreditation from the evil commission.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

Yes. I hear that one lawsuit (by Dennis Herrera) is not enough ! The faculty union filed one more today. Perhaps a third one against the state for not giving enough money to CCSF will help too.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

Let's file FIVE more...!


Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

just bumping a troll further out of the thread

Posted by troll bumper on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

Clearly you have not read the meta-analysis by Hittleman comparing rates & severity of sanctions by ACCJC with the other regional accreditors (including WASC), which shows extreme irregularities in the exponentially higher rates & severity of sanctions by ACCJC vs. every other regional accrediting body cover 48 other states. ACCJC sanctioned more in a year than some others did in a decade.

Do you honestly think that CA & HI's community colleges are exponentially worse than all the other 48 states' 2- & 4-year colleges combined?

Posted by saintlennybruce on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:41 am

How many convicted criminals complain about the cops and the DA? Lots.

How many are justified? Very few.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 7:56 am

Self-defense is an accepted concept, esp. against a criminal assailant. It's actually a mandate against an existential threat.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

Are you able to strong everyone to be able to additional content with this?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

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