Judge hears closing arguments in ACCJC trial

News Release

For immediate release: December 10, 2014 

City Attorney asks court to vacate “show cause,” closure decisions due to unfair and unlawful actions by agency

San Francisco, December 10—Yesterday San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow heard closing arguments in the trial between the City of San Francisco and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against the ACCJC to stop the commission’s disaccreditation order against City College of San Francisco. Disaccreditation would effectively close City College, denying 80,000 students access to quality and affordable higher education. Testimony in the trial at the end of October presented strong evidence that the ACCJC engaged in unfair and unlawful practices in pursuit of closing CCSF. The City Attorney is asking the judge to vacate the accreditation reviews that resulted in “show cause” sanction and the disaccreditation order, and to order the review process to be rerun, this time with fair and lawful procedures. Afterwards, several people who witnessed the day’s events had comments:

Joshua Pechthalt, CFT president: “The judge can now right a terrible wrong. He can’t undo the damage that the ACCJC has already done to City College, its faculty, the thousands of students that have left, and the community that relies on the college. But he can restore a fair process for City College’s accreditation, and let ACCJC know that they are not above the law.”

Rafael Mandelman, CCSF Trustee: “I want to express my great gratitude to the City Attorney and his lawyers. They did a great job revealing how screwed up the ACCJC’s process was, and making the case for the judge to try to remedy the wrong.”

Bouchra Simmons, CCSF student: “The City Attorney’s lawyer was just logical, clear, precise, and fair, showing how the ACCJC didn’t give City College the opportunity or the time they were supposed to. What will happen if City College closes? There is no alternative for us. We are working students, I’m a single mother, we live in San Francisco. The ACCJC says we’ll just go to other colleges. That’s not
going to happen.”

Tim Killikelly, AFT 2121 President: “This process is about two things: One is basic fairness for City College that was denied. Second thing ignored is that the educational quality of City College was not in question. The judge should rule on the basis of fairness. That’s all we were asking for today.”


The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational workers at every level of the education system, from early childhood to higher education. More info: www.cft.org