Don’t Believe Everything You Read

designed by Sara Bloomberg

By Sara Bloomberg
The Guardsman

As college students, we’re supposed to be learning critical thinking skills, whether in a math, music, English or art class.

But don’t leave it in the classroom!

Misinformation is everywhere, especially in the news—I should know, it’s my business.

That isn’t to say that today’s reporters are intentionally misleading us (well, except for Fox News). Even for seasoned professionals, it can be tough to sort through all the bullshit because, yes, it’s time consuming and time is money.

I’ll have to tell you all about it another time because right now I want to focus on what’s happening to City College.

We know that our school is amazing, despite its shortcomings and financial problems, but I’m concerned that too many people, from San Francisco residents to all California voters, aren’t aware of what’s really happening.

Bottom line is this: California has been disinvesting in public education since the late 1970s (thanks Reagan!), which has been slowly eroding our ability to fund the programs to make the Master Plan for Higher Education possible.

Passed in 1960, the Master Plan stipulates that all Californians have access to an education: the University of California for the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates, the California State University for the top third and Junior Colleges (and today’s community colleges) for everyone.

More recently, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Student Success Act into law on Sept. 27, which is based on recommendations by the Student Success Task Force, a controversial body that convened in 2011 to supposedly evaluate student success at community colleges in California.

Dozens of community colleges, as well as student newspapers, including The Guardsman, opposed the work of the task force because we felt that the language of the recommendations was a thinly veiled attempt to ration scarce funds (and simultaneously education) in the name of increasing degree completion rates.

If there’s no money, just say there’s no money!

And that’s where City College is hurting.

The quality of instruction isn’t in question, but it will decline if faculty, staff and department chairs are laid off—a very likely scenario, since administrators and the Board of Trustees are getting pressure from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and the Financial Crisis Assistance and Management Team to do just that.

City College certainly has problems, but let’s remember our history and ensure a better future for the school, and other students who come after us.

How can we do that?

Talk to people about Prop 30 and Prop A, two tax measures on this November’s ballot that will raise revenue statewide and locally that will benefit City College.

Stay informed. Read the news.

Ask questions.

Think critically.

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