The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 28, 2014.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges on Tuesday told U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi that it could not extend a July 31 deadline to revoke the City College of San Francisco’s accreditation, drawing sharp criticism from Ms. Pelosi and two other Democrats in Congress, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The newspaper reported last week that an official with the U.S. Department of Education had written to Ms. Pelosi, the House of Representatives’ minority leader, to tell her that the commission had the power to reconsider its actions in order to give the college more time to come into compliance.
On Tuesday the commission released a letter to Ms. Pelosi responding to the Education Department official’s message, as well as a public statement explaining why it believed it could not extend the deadline on the college’s accreditation. The college has a temporary reprieve from the deadline pending the outcome of a trial, which is set to begin in October.
In their letter, the commission’s leaders wrote that the “scope and depth of CCSF’s failures” had “undermined student learning and the school’s stability and integrity.”
The commission’s leaders suggested, as they had previously, that the college could seek “candidacy” status, which they said could “preserve its access to federal resources as the institution implements the needed reforms.”
Ms. Pelosi and two other Democrats from California—U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo—released a joint statement saying it was “outrageous” that the commission continued to follow what they called its “incorrect interpretation of Department of Education policy.”
They said the accreditor’s letter raised “serious questions” about the commission’s ability to perform its duties.