WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education letter concluding that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges violated federal regulations in its review of the City College of San Francisco.
"Six weeks ago, when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges announced its baseless decision to strip accreditation from City College of San Francisco, I said that action demonstrated that the accreditation system had lost its way.
"Today the U.S. Department of Education found sufficient problems with the accreditation process that the decision to strip the college's accreditation should be set aside.
"The ACCJC has lost sight of the mission of accreditation: to ensure that students are receiving an academically sound college education, something that has never been in doubt at City College, and based upon the department's letter, we ask the ACCJC to conduct a new review under procedures that fully comply with Department of Education standards.
"The department's letter essentially finds that the ACCJC failed to conduct a valid peer review because its process grossly over-represented administrative personnel, with only one faculty member on the accreditation panel—ignoring the voices of faculty members who are the real keepers of the quality standards at any institution.
"The department also faulted the ACCJC for not having effective controls to prevent conflicts of interest by members of its accreditation review teams. That alone should be sufficient to compel a return to City College of San Francisco to conduct a new review under proper procedures that ensure good faith and fairness to all interested parties—including students and the public who rely on City College and have invested so much in its success."