SPECIAL STATEWIDE EDITORIAL: College groups across the state condemn the Student Success Task Force’s agenda to dismantle schools

Over 20 other community college newspapers across the state are publishing similar editorials against the reccomendations of the Student Success Task Force. For a full list of our sister newspapers in the fight, visit www.TheGuardsman.com.

Community colleges across the state have joined the fight against the Student Success Task Force (The Guardsman/Courtesy Photo)

The California Community College Student Success Task Force is a name that parodies itself.

The task force, charged with revolutionizing community colleges across California, assembled an eighty-page document that will tear apart junior colleges as we know them.

The Task Force’s report is meant to shape the laws of Sacramento politicians, and the report and the recommendations within will be seen as the view of all of us. We can’t let that happen.

The report recommends dismantling noncredit courses, making one-size fits all tests for the diverse state of California, disassembling local college boards, overcharging 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 through school will be hit hardest. These recommendations would close off higher education to California’s 99 percent and slam the door shut behind them.

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. Some of these private interests have ties to private businesses that would directly benefit from the privatization of community college services, which the report recommends California to do. 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 it’s

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 high minded bar-room argument on what our values in education should be. In as little as a year, the legislation enacted by the Task Force would wreck the lives of over 200,000 Californian students: your neighbors, your family, your friends and any California citizen who has ever held the dream of a college degree.

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

Join us by calling up our government between the dates of December 7 and January 30, and joining us with a united voice. Now is the time to take action. Take on the fight, take a stand, and join the Community Colleges of California in the most critical battle we’ve ever faced: the battle for the soul of our education.

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