Is Accreditation Bad for Colleges?

California Federation of Teachers Community College Council President Carl Friedlander, writing in the current issue of AFT Perspective, raises concerns about how the ACCJC wields its authority:

“…The ACCJC leadership, more than the leadership of any other regional commission, has inappropriately embraced a particular ‘education reform’ agenda. This Commission’s zealotry is roiling the system and poisoning faculty attitudes about accreditation itself.”

Read the article on page 2 of the issue linked here.

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Nanette Asimov adds more perspective here:

“But faculty union leaders and many students up and down the state say the…accrediting commission…is overly harsh and out of touch with what colleges need to improve. The commission sanctioned California colleges nearly five times as often as commissions around the country sanctioned colleges in their regions last year, and up to 16 times as often between 2003 and 2008, writes Marty Hittelman, former president of the California Federation of Teachers.”

And Los Angeles Daily News reporter Dana Bartholomew reports:

“A growing number of faculty critics say the accrediting agency doesn’t value colleges for their student instruction, but for conducting costly reports, data gathering and reviews of school policies and procedures.

They say the highly secretive agency has promoted its own agenda, while focusing on so-called measurable student learning outcomes in which to gauge student success.”