Through a twitter user, I recently learned about the Pittsburg (KS) High School newspaper staff who uncovered diploma mill degrees in the resume of a newly hired principal, Amy Robertson. Ms. Robertson was hired by the Pittsburg School District to fill a principal position beginning next school year. She claimed to have a master’s and doctorate from Corllins University. However, the high school newspaper staff investigated that claim and reported to the school community that Corllins is not accredited by a reputable accrediting body. Furthermore, the school appears to be a diploma mill.
The investigative talent displayed by these young journalists is impressive. Their tenacity is even more impressive. The school board discounted their research, said the article was inaccurate, and fully supported Ms. Robertson. Even the local newspaper editor claimed the article was inaccurate (a charge he later recanted.)
However, last night, the Pittsburg school board accepted the resignation of Ms. Robertson and Superintendent Destry Brown pledged to go to the school and thank the students for their hard work. Apparently, somebody checked a little closer and found that the student journalists were correct about Corllins University.
Watch the school board accept Ms. Robertson’s resignation. At the end of the video, a parent stands and asks the school board to acknowledge the hard and accurate work of the student journalists. I hope Mr. Brown made good on his promise to go visit the student’s and thank them personally.
District Hires New Principal – The Pittsburg High School newspaper which details the concerns about Ms. Robertson’s degrees.
Brown Refutes Claims in School Paper – The local paper took issue with the students’ research and reported that the school board supported the new principal. Even as late as last night, the editor of the local paper said the article was wrong. Then, to his credit, he offered a mea culpa.
Board Accepts Resignation of Dr. Amy Robertson Amid Questions about Her Credentials – The superintendent walks back his previous confident assurances that the credentials were acceptable.
It seems pretty obvious to me from the Corllins University website that it is a diploma mill. You can even get a free honorary degree with the purchase of another degree. It is not accredited by any body recognized by CHEA or the Department of Education. The accrediting bodies mentioned on one of Corllins’ website appear to be made up. Neither have a working website.
To the journalists at Pittsburg High School, I say congratulations and good work.