Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School, and Accrediation Troubles at CCSF

Yesterday was the first day of Fall semester at San Jose State.  I taught three classes and was exhausted, but it is always exciting to meet the new students and to feel the enthusiasm on campus.

Folks at City College of San Francisco were probably not as excited to be back, given their accreditation agency recently decided to revoke the school's accreditation.

I have spent some time looking into this issue.  I have read news reports, and some of the official documents.

While I have not done enough research to be an expert on this issue, my sense is that CCSF is being treated unfairly.  Almost all of the criticisms deal with financial and governance issues, including not having enough administrators.

Most importantly, I have not seen any real criticisms of the quality of the educational programs, which in my opinion are the only aspects that accreditation agencies should evaluate.  In other words, accreditation agencies should look at the outputs--the quality of the teaching and learning--not the inputs--the financial or governance aspects--for which CCSF is mainly under fire.

If I go to a restaurant and the food is good, I don't really care if the owner is broke.  Accreditation agencies, like restaurant critics, should focus on outputs, not inputs.