Supporters of City College of San Francisco are not going to accept the decision to strip the school's accreditation without an A+ fight.
That was the message hundreds of City College students, staff, faculty and advocates chanted while walking the streets of San Francisco yesterday as they marched from the college's downtown campus to the doors of the U.S. Department of Education's regional office on Beale Street.
Last week, the non-profit oversight group, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, announced that after just shy of a year's work CCSF's board of trustees had not done enough to address the problems around administration that landed the college on the path to revoking accreditation. They said the school will lose its accreditation on July 31, 2014.
But, CCSF's supporters said yesterday that the ACCJC decision is unacceptable and they want the U.S. Department of Education to step in and revoke the accrediting agency's certification instead.
"If everybody admits and acknowledges that city college provides excellent education,"student Eric Blanc said to cheers from the crowd as he stood outside of the U.S. Department of Education, "then why the hell are they talking about our closing our school?"
The crowd, which at times stretched for more than three blocks as it marched down Market Street, was controlled and united in their message that the school needs to be spared and they expect San Franciscans to get behind them.
"We want people to know that this college is not going away," Alisa Messer, President of City College's Federation of Teachers, said. "And students and the San Francisco community are down to support that," she added.
Speakers at the rally included members of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, City College board of trustee members-- who were recently ousted because of the ACCJC decision-- and community organizers from as far as New York. All said they represent the same message-- they stand with the school.