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Call for new accreditor for CCSF will be sent to feds

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The California Community Colleges of Board Governors has directed the state chancellor to send the 2015 Task Force on Accreditation report to the U.S. Department of Education. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner 2014 file photo)

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors wants federal education officials to know that a recent state chancellor’s office task force report recommended replacing the accreditor for 113 community colleges in California, including City College of San Francisco.

In a surprise move at its meeting Monday, the board voted unanimously to direct California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris to send the 2015 Task Force on Accreditation report that was released last month and a cover letter summarizing the report to the U.S. Department of Education by Friday.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges is currently the only organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit California community colleges.

The board had been scheduled to hear a presentation on the report, which was written by community college administrators, faculty, trustees, accreditation liaison officers and others with the state chancellor’s office. In addition to recommending a new accreditor, the report said the ACCJC needed to provide a more streamlined, consistent and transparent path for schools to retain their accreditation.

Local politicians and other supporters of CCSF spoke out against the ACCJC after its decision in 2013 to revoke the school’s accreditation, a move that was blocked first by the City Attorney’s Office and later when the commission introduced a new policy that gives CCSF until January 2017 to meet all accrediting requirements. The school remains open and fully accredited.

Monday’s vote, however, sends possibly the strongest signal yet that state education officials favor replacing the ACCJC.

“It was an unexpected step…[and] it’s a pretty strong indication that [the board members] agree with the report and are anxious to move on with some of the report’s recommendations,” said Tim Killikelly, president of CCSF’s faculty union AFT 2121.

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