Commission that stripped CCSF accreditation could lose some power 

The commission that revoked the accreditation of City College of San Francisco last July could lose the power it holds over community colleges.

State legislation proposed Thursday by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, appears to be a direct response to CCSF’s treatment by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Among other things, it would reform the accrediting system for California’s 112 community colleges by allowing each school to choose its own accrediting body.

If passed, the bill would force accrediting bodies to act more transparently by requiring them to hold public meetings as well as disclose their income and expenditures — both of which the ACCJC, a private body, is not required to do.

It also would require accreditors to give due process to colleges when it comes to rulings and a clear appeals process, both things that some have argued the ACCJC did not give to CCSF.

It would also eliminate possible conflicts of interest, a charge that has been made in court against the ACCJC.

ACCJC President Barbara Beno said her main issue with the proposed law is its transparency clauses, such as the open-meeting requirement.

“No regional accrediting commission deliberates in public,” she said. Such a rule would distort the process and run the risk of politicizing every accrediting decision by bringing it into the public realm.

In early January, a judge granted a preliminary injunction in a civil case filed by the City Attorney’s Office that accused the ACCJC of wrongdoing. No final action on accreditation can be taken until the trial is complete. Losing accreditation, which was slated for this coming July, would effectively force CCSF to close.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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