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Staff Editorial

The Guardsman


College groups across California condemn the Student Success Task Force’s agenda to dismantle schools

–Special Statewide Editorial–

The California Community College Student “Success” Task Force is a name that parodies itself. The Task Force, charged with streamlining colleges across California, has assembled an eighty-page document that will tear apart the community college system as we know it.

The Task Force’s report is meant to influence Sacramento politicians. The report and the recommendations within it, unless we say otherwise, will be taken as the official word of the students and faculty of California’s community colleges on how we want to be funded.  We can’t let that happen.

The report recommends eliminating non-credit courses, creating one-size-fits-all placement tests for California’s diverse student population, stripping local college boards of their power, gouging students returning for their second degrees, and requiring any student not transferring to a university within a strict two-year deadline to pay outrageously expensive out-of-state fees.

The Task Force recommendations will benefit higher-income students more, while students who struggle and work while attending school will be hit hardest.

These recommendations would close off higher education to California’s 99 percent and slam the door shut in their faces.

The Student Success Task Force is funded almost entirely by private interests, including the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

These non-profit foundations have links to private businesses that are questionable to say the least. Ten out of fourteen of Lumina’s board members have ties to the student loan industry — a sure sign that they should not be trusted.

We cannot let the one percent take away California’s most accessible means of upward mobility.

The Task Force is aiming to have all of its proposals written into legislation by January 2012. This isn’t just a matter of politics — red versus blue, republican versus democrat — or part of some frivolous bar-room argument on what our values in education should be.

In as little as a year, the legislation enacted by the Task Force recommendations would wreck the lives of over 200,000 Californian students: your neighbors, your family, your friends and any Californian who has ever held the dream of a college degree.

Now is the time to take action.

We at The Guardsman want to arm you in this fight against the one percent: inside this issue we have a pullout section showing you every proposal made by the Task Force, and on the front page is a list of phone numbers and emails so that you can let the government know that you support community colleges.

Join us by calling your government representative, using contact information we’ve provided, between the dates of December 7 and January 30 in our “Task Force Week of Action.”

Find your voice, take a stand, and join the California community college system in the most critical battle it has ever faced: the battle for the soul of our education.

Sign a petition against the task force:

vote no on task force recommendations with your Facebook account!


contact bay area senators:

District Number and Office        Capitol Office

Leno, Mark 03  455 Golden Gate Avenue        State Capitol
San Francisco, CA 94102       Sacramento, CA
(415) 557-1300                94248-0001
(916) 651-4003
3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 425
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 479-6612

Member                     District Number and Office     Capitol Office

Ammiano, Tom 13  455 Golden Gate Avenue         State Capitol
Suite 14300                    Room 4005
San Francisco, CA 94102        Sacramento, CA
(415) 557-3013                 94249-0013

Member                 District Number and Office        Capitol Office

Yee, Leland 08  455 Golden Gate Avenue        State Capitol
San Francisco,  CA  94102     Sacramento, CA
(415) 557-7857                94248-0001
(916) 651-4008
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 630
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 340-8840

Assembly Members
Member                     District Number and Office     Capitol Office

Ma, Fiona 12  455 Golden Gate Avenue         State Capitol
Suite 14600                    Room 3173
San Francisco, CA 94102        Sacramento, CA
(415) 557-2312                 94249-0012
(916) 319-2012


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