Topic: Education Issues

California Teacher High-stakes testing

Defies Measurement: An interview with the filmmaker
Q&A with Shannon Puckett, parent and former teacher

Before making the film Defies Measurement, Shannon Puckett taught at Alameda’s Chipman Middle School for five years. The school’s story is central to the film’s depiction of how high-stakes testing is negatively impacting public schools.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Judge rules accreditor acted illegally in terminating City College of San Francisco’s accreditation

January 16, 2015—Today the CFT hosted a press teleconference call to discuss Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow’s ruling in “The People vs. ACCJC.” Participating were CFT President Joshua Pechthalt, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), AFT Local 2121 President Tim Killikelly, and Shanell Williams, student trustee at City College of San Francisco. Here are the highlights.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

College classified are partners in accreditation process

The City of San Francisco went to court in October to stop the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from effectively shutting its beloved City College and ending affordable higher education for 80,000 students. 

Statewide, community colleges are fighting for fair accreditation and one college that lost its accreditation is working to get it back. Classified staff are helping.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Reinstate CCSF’s elected Board of Trustees immediately

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

A guiding principle in our democracy is that the people govern by electing their representatives to office, whether it’s the president of the 7th grade homeroom, local school board, mayor, president of the country or any other elected office. The American Revolution of 1776 cast aside the authority of a monarchy to govern and put that power in the hands of the people, however incomplete it was at that time.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

“The People vs. ACCJC”
A day-by-day report: October 27-31 and closing arguments December 9

Day One: October 27, 2014

San Francisco—After kicking off the day with a spirited early morning demonstration outside the San Francisco Superior Court building, about a hundred City College of San Francisco faculty, students and community supporters moved en masse into the courthouse to attend the opening day of the trial to keep the college open.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Faculty protest class cancellations caused by ACCJC sanctions
Two lawsuits and a trial move forward; governor signs CFT transparency bill

The trial to determine if the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges acted unfairly when it pulled City College of San Francisco’s accreditation will go ahead on October 27. In the meantime, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera won a victory when the trial judge ruled on September 19 that accreditors “violated controlling federal regulations” by having an unbalanced evaluation team, with only one academic representative to evaluate the college in 2013.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

California districts roll out LCAPs to mixed reviews
Degree of teacher and classified input to local plans varies widely

Ray Gaer sees the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as “a different forum for unions to talk about things that matter and an opportunity to build more cooperative relationships. The president of the ABC Federation of Teachers says, “We can talk about how programs are selected and developed and how money is spent before getting to the bargaining table.”

California Teacher Vergara v. California

Education unions fight to reverse Vergara ruling

The CFT and the California Teachers Association filed a notice of appeal asking that Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling in Vergara v. California be reversed in its entirety. Stating that Treu’s decision striking down five California Education Code provisions “is without support in law or fact,” the appeal says Treu’s reversible errors are “too numerous to list.”

California Teacher Adult education

Adult educators gain stronger voice for teachers in consortia
Expert panel ramps up educator involvement as two-year planning process nears end

Adult educators have demanded to be included in planning the future of adult education. Led by the CFT Adult Education Commission, members are taking action to make the process as outlined under Assembly Bill 86 more inclusive. 

Earlier this year, adult educators stood in line to testify before a Joint Informational Hearing of the Assembly Higher Education and Senate Education Committees.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Community college accreditation on trial

September 30, 2014—Over the past two years AFT Local 2121, representing faculty at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), and the California Federation of Teachers, representing 25,000 community college faculty around the state, have been embroiled in a life and death battle to save CCSF from disaccreditation at the hands of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The expensive and exhausting effort has taken place in the courts, the legislature, the state budget process, at the bargaining table, in the news, and in the streets.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

State auditor’s report on community college accreditation confirms deep problems with accrediting commission
Report confirms numerous problems first articulated by CFT

Sacramento—Today the California State Auditor issued a stinging critique of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in a Report on California Community College Accreditation.

The report confirms numerous problems first articulated by the CFT in its complaint to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in spring 2013, and validated by the USDOE in August, with ACCJC’s operations. 

Article Accreditation ACCJC

CFT response to the decision of the ACCJC Appeals Hearing Panel
In review of commission actions in case of City College of San Francisco

On June 13, 2014 the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) released the “decision” of its own handpicked Appeals Panel on the appeal filed by City College of San Francisco (CCSF) on March 4, 2014.

CCSF’s appeal argued that it should not be disaccredited, but the decision of ACCJC’s Appeal Panel rejected that argument, while at the same time offering the College further “review” of evidence provided to the Appeals Panel.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

“Appeals Panel decision should be abrogated”
Pechthalt writes to Chancellor Harris and BOG President Baca

Dear Chancellor Harris and President Baca: 

I am writing you regarding the recent decision of the Appeals Panel of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (“ACCJC”) rejecting City College of San Francisco’s argument that it should not be disaccredited, while at the same time offering the college further “review” of evidence provided to the Appeals Panel.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Accrediting commission sticks foot in mouth, then jams it in farther
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is furious with the ACCJC

May 29, 2014—In recent weeks the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College (ACCJC) leadership has claimed in a number of public settings that City College of San Francisco can withdraw its own accreditation and reapply for “candidacy status” and keep its federal and state funding, including student financial aid. It has also claimed repeatedly that it has no authority to give the college more time to address accreditation issues, and the commission’s July 2014 closure order for the college will stand.

Neither claim is true. 

California Teacher

Course repeatability rules restrict student access, learning
Cabrillo College faculty lead effort to expose failings in new regulations

The new course repeatability regulations, passed by the Community College Board of Governors in July 2012, mean, in most cases, that if students pass a class with a ‘C’ or higher, they can’t take the class again. Many community college teachers see this negatively impacting students who want to study, for example, journalism, creative writing, foreign languages or visual arts.