BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
PRINCIPAL QUITS AFTER STUDENT NEWSPAPER PROBES HER CREDENTIALS
‘We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate’
Amy Robertson, former Pittsburg Kansas High school principal (Photo: Twitter)
A newly hired high-school principal in Kansas abruptly resigned from her $93,000-a-year position after enterprising student reporters at the school began investigating her background.
Principal Amy Robertson quit her job at Pittsburg High School in Kansas Tuesday, the Wichita Eagle reported.
“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” Trina Paul, a high-school senior and an editor of the school newspaper, the Booster Redux, told the Eagle.
“We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.”
Pittsburg journalism adviser Emily Smith told the paper she is “very proud” of the budding journalists.
“They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth.”
On Friday, the student reporters published a story questioning Robertson’s alma mater, the private college Corllins University, where Robertson said she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees.
Corllins is an unaccredited university, but officials from the U.S. Department of Education were unable to find proof that it still operates, according to the Kansas City Star. There are dozens of student complaints online, most claiming the school is a diploma mill.
A brief inspection of the school’s typo-ridden website reveals some of its pages haven’t been updated since 2014, and links to its “University of Business,” “University of Information Technology” and “University of Law” are inoperable. The most recent post on the school’s Facebook page is from June 15, 2012.
The Better Business Bureau listing for Collins University states: “The address being used by the company of 2885 Sanford Ave SW, #12844, Grandville, MI is actually that of a company by the name of Mailbox Forwarding Inc. The true physical address of Corllins University is unknown.” The Better Business Bureau says it contacted the company, and it provided the following address: 8721 Santa Monica Blvd., #1249, Los Angeles, California 90069. However, that address appears to belong to a Mail Service Center.
California officials have confirmed that the school was never accredited or approved in the state, the Pittsburg Morning Sun reported.
During a special meeting Tuesday evening of the Pittsburg Community Schools Board of Education, board President Al Menendez announced Robertson’s resignation.
“In light of the issues that arose, Amy Robertson felt it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position,” Superintendent Destry Brown said in a statement, the Eagle reported.
The board re-opened the principal position Wednesday.
“Our goal is to find the best person to be our principal that we can find,” Brown said. “I know the students want that too.”
Robertson, who has sporadically lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates over the last 19 years, told the Eagle, “The current status of Corllins University is not relevant because when I received my MA in 1994 and my PhD in 2010, there was no issue.”
She said, “All three of my degrees have been authenticated by the U.S. government.”
According to the Morning Sun report, “Robertson said the department of state verified her qualifications as recently as 2011, and that she has documents proving so signed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
Robertson told the paper she wouldn’t comment on the students’ concerns about her credentials.
“I have no comment in response to the questions posed by PHS students regarding my credentials because their concerns are not based on facts,” she said.
When she was hired for the Pittsburg High School position on March 6, a district spokesman said, “Robertson comes to Pittsburg with decades of experience in education.”
A news release at the time of her hiring said Robertson is CEO of Atticus I S Consultants, “an education consulting firm where she gained leadership and management experience at the international equivalence of a building administrator and superintendent.”
Superintendent Destry Brown said he was surprised the students probed Robertson’s credentials.
“The kids had never gone through someone like this before,” Brown told the Eagle.
He said he encouraged the journalism students in their quest to find the truth.
“I want our kids to have real-life experiences, whether it’s welding or journalism,” he said.
The students began looking into Robertson’s background after a search turned up Gulf News articles about an English language school in Dubai that was connected to her.
“The 2012 articles said Dubai’s education authority had suspended the license for Dubai American Scientific School and accused Robertson of not being authorized to serve as principal of that school,” the Eagle reported. “The private, for-profit school received an ‘unsatisfactory’ rating on Dubai education authority inspection reports every year from 2008 to 2012 and was closed in September 2013.”
Maddie Baden, a 17-year-old junior at Pittsburg High, said: “That raised a red flag. If students could uncover all of this, I want to know why the adults couldn’t find this.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/04/principal-quits-after-students-probe-her-credentials/#iRToHCbdkoTKptrA.99