accreditation bullies for a corporate agenda a power analysis of the crisis at city college of sf 1

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Accreditation Bullies for a Corporate Agenda Downsizing and Privatizing CCSF & Public Education A Power Analysisthe Bigger Picture

Accreditation Bullies for a Corporate Agenda

A Power Analysis of the Crisis at City College of SF1 mission of accreditation agencies is tosafeguard ed quality (move over the slide from long slideshow, try to use their real language)2Move in slide 2 from orange The ACCJC3Under the threat of closure, City College is bleeding students & facultyThe college downsized rapidly after five years of deep budget cuts,followed by the accreditation shock and now aggressive right-sizing policiesonly publicly mentioned on one occasion. More than 29% of non-credit (pre-college) students have disappeared compared to 2008; More than 21% of all students are gone; More than one quarter of all part-time faculty have lost their jobs, and most retiring full-time faculty are not replaced. As 2015 opens, there is open discussion about selling off irreplaceable College land and property, including 33 Gough and the Reservoir


ADREA put in chronicle ref pleaseBut why is this happening?Many of us have a nagging feeling that there are corporate players behind the City College crisis: It just makes no sense to safeguard educational quality by closing one of the best community colleges in the country. The City College situation seems so political.

This line of critical thinking often gets shut down with the mocking charge, Oh, thats just a conspiracy theory.

This presentation aims to give us an understanding of the corporate players behind the accreditation crisis at City College, their goals and methods.

5INSERT LEE FANG LOBBYING COMPLEX 5Its not a conspiracy, its an agenda A conspiracy is small and secret. But the agenda of downsizing and re-engineering the California community colleges is being pushed by a corporate coalition that operates substantially in the openalthough they speak in polite code: They dont say that corporations are dis-investing in all public services from food stamps to public educationthey say Sadly, government just doesnt have the money, when the data show that there is more money than ever at the very top of the social hierarchy. 6Headline: Credit to Bill Shields, chair of the Labor Studies Department at City College, for this formulation.

Venture philanthropy analysis: Kenneth Saltman6Put in the Khalil Bendib cartoon about the pigs crying about budget cuts (and remind us to pay him or something)7Cracking the codeThey dont say they are canceling the revered open access mission set forth in the California Master Plan of 1960; they say they are updating the Master Plan by focusing on the most important prioritydegrees and certificates for workforce preparation.

They dont say they are pushing out the most marginalized students who can only attend part time; instead they say they are rationing education more rationally by focusing on full-time students most likely to succeed at completing degrees and certificates: The community colleges can simply no longer afford to be all things to all people. They dont say they are closing down student services built up over decades to support the most vulnerable students; they say City College is not a social service agency. They dont say that they want to tamp down critical thinking in an ever-more unequal societythey say (paraphrasing interim chancellor Pamila Fisher): All that social justice stuff--the Diversity Departments, San Francisco, flowers in your hairits nice, but we just cant afford it any more. 8Whats the end game?9Their aims are to downsize Californias big 112-college community college system radically to shrink the public sector and open market share for the for-profit colleges and the student loan industry; and to re-engineer these shrunken community colleges to focus narrowly on corporate workforce preparation, at the public expense. To realize these unpopular goals, they are working to sweep aside democratic governance structures including unions, locally elected boards of trustees, shared governance, and academic senates. The community colleges can no longer afford to be all things to all peopleThe broad mission of the open access California community college system is dismissed as no longer affordable. Statewide, a host of new push-out policies is shedding hundreds of thousands of students seen as disposable: part-time students who work, parents, low-income students, new immigrants, older students, and second chance students. Not coincidentally, these are the same demographics targeted by the for-profit colleges. Corporate players are organized in long-standing lobbying organizations such as the California Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce. They hash out and negotiate specific positions through reports and commissions (and this process involves conflict and compromise, there is no puppet master pulling all the strings). This corporate coalition runs a multi-year legislative agenda in Sacramento and Washington DC. They advocate for this agenda through a network of faux grassroots groups (astroturf organizations), well-financed think tanks, cooperative politicians and endorsements by associations drawn in through grants. The whole effort is amply funded through giant venture philanthropy foundations spun off from the corporations themselves--the Lumina Foundation (set up by the Student Loan Marketing Corporation); the Gates Foundation (set up by Microsoft); and others set up by the tech and real estate industries.

10The new corporate vision for California community colleges11Regarding the City College crisis, the two most important reports are: The Student Success Task Force Final Report, Advancing Student Success in the California Community Colleges, 2012The Little Hoover Commission, A New Plan for a New Economy: Reimagining Higher Education, 2013 These two reports outline a broad new vision for the California community colleges favored by corporate and political elites. Down-sizing the Public Sector

Starting with five years of unprecedented state budget cuts totaling 1.5 billion in 2007-12, California community colleges have already shrunk significantly, from 2.9 million students in 2008, to 2.1 million today. 24% of all classes were cut, including a 60% cut in summer classes and nearly the same percent in classes for older adults.

12There are two sets of enrollment data on the statewide Chancellors Office website. One data set shows the figure we use here; another data set suppresses instances in which one student enrolls in two colleges, and shows a drop of 2.6 million in 2008, to 2.1 million today.

ADREA can you import the enrollment decline graph from Bohn

60%: Bohn et al, Impact of Budget Cuts, PPIC, p. 1512Is there protest? After these huge cuts, state budget funding to rebuild enrollment is set for 2% for 14-15 and 15-16,without the four-year commitment to rebuilding enrollment at the CSU and the UC.

In place of loud protest, we hear only SILENCE or weak laments from officials, along with calls for more career prep, STEM education and innovation (often a code word for more on-line instruction)


Wildly Disproportionate Accreditation Sanctions Aimed at California Community Colleges Between 2003-2008: 89% of all the sanctions in the US were issued by one of six regional accrediting agencies, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) In the other five regions, the average rate of sanction is 2% of colleges per year; the ACCJC had a sanction rate of 37% per year.

Currently: 25% of California community colleges are on sanction.

14Marty Hittelman, Accreditation WatchThe ACCJC:A private agency wielding public power The official story is that the ACCJC is a peer organization elected by community college presidents, with a mission of safeguarding educational quality on behalf of students and the public. In reality, it is a private 501c3, run by a small powerful staff. It has governmental-type powers to re-engineer, drive down enrollment, and ultimately to close public colleges. This power is athorized by the US Department of Education, and an un-elected state body, the Board of Governors of the California Community College system (mainly appointed by governors, with several of the current BOG appointed by Gov. Schwartzenegger). The ACCJC holds three-day meetings that include 15 minutes for public comment; proceedings are secret; The executive staff of the ACCJC nominate like-minded commission members who are voted up or down as a block by community college presidents, so that their election is pro forma. The commission is dominated by conservative administrators from the Valley.15The ACCJCA Kangaroo Court?In a week-long trial brought by the City Attorneys Office in October 2014, many details came to light, including reports that site visit teams would receive instructions telegraphed in advance by senior staff of the ACCJC: At College X, you will find that. Perhaps the most shocking finding: The 16-person ACCJC inspection team spent five days in a site visit to City College in spring 2013, reviewing an exhaustive self-study and meeting with scores of people across the College. This team unanimously recommended to the ACCJCby a vote of 16-0--that City College be removed from the show cause sanction and placed on probationi.e. be taken off death row. Instead, the president of the commission, Barbara Beno, unilaterally altered the draft report to add new deficiencies not found by the inspection team. She INCREASED the level of sanction to termination in July 2014, giving the college one year to close down. 16The fundamenta