Accreditation commission says it complies with federal policy

Getty ImagesGateway High School students may have posted standardized test materials on social-media websites.

Getty ImagesGateway High School students may have posted standardized test materials on social-media websites.

The commission that recently threatened to remove City College of San Francisco's accreditation says it will respond to a U.S. Department of Education letter reprimanding its operation by “correcting the facts.”

This week, the federal government sent a letter to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which monitors accreditation for California colleges, saying it did not comply with four Education Department guidelines and has 12 months to update its policies or face losing its ability to evaluate colleges.

It is not known if this turn of events will affect the commission's removal of CCSF's accreditation.

In a written statement, the commission promised a formal response later, but noted that it does comply with many of the guidelines.

For instance, the federal government faulted the composition of the teams that visit and evaluate schools, which are expected to include faculty, staff, administrators and education experts. The Department of Education said the team that visited CCSF lacked sufficient faculty representation. Yet the commission said that team's 16 total members included three faculty members, and that two others were assigned to evaluate CCSF but withdrew days before the visit.

The department also said the commission should have acted sooner to correct the deficiencies at CCSF, informed the public about the sanctions and tightened its policies regarding conflicts of interest. The commission disagrees, but said it would consider recommendations to act sooner in the future.

“The Commission feels it acted in a timely fashion upon the 2012 evaluation team's verification of CCSF's continued deficiency in meeting standards,” the statement said.

Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior CollegesBay Area NewsCity College of San FranciscoeducationU.S. Department of Education

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