Friday, April 14, 2017

The kids are alright

The story was in the Washington POST the other day, about how some students in the journalism class at Pittsburg High School in Kansas looked into the background of a woman who had been hired as the school's new principal.  They found some of her academic credentials to be, in a word, bogus. And in two words, made up. And in three, a lotta baloney.

Amy Robertson was hired to run the school on the strength of having a bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa, but she was not able to produce a transcript from that institution. 

What's more, Robertson claimed to have earned a master's and a doctorate from something called Corllins University. It turns out that this school is regarded as a diploma mill, and the students who work on the "Booster Redux," the school newspaper at Pittsburg High, couldn't even get the Corllins website to come up. There's no evidence that it's an accredited university, and on the scale of 1-10 in rating colleges, where "10" would be Harvard or Hopkins, Corllins rates a zero, equal to "Trump U." The school has no address for even so much as a building, and it is not approved by the US Dept of Education.  

There is no indication that they have a football team, either.

The student journalists also found it interesting that Robertson had been living in Dubai for the last 20 years, working as the boss of an education consulting firm called Atticus I S Consultants there.

Clearly, her three ponied-up degrees and two decades of working 7,586 miles away in Dubai qualify her to run a high school in Southeastern Kansas.

Even the student advisor to the newspaper staff, Emily Smith, had been among the educational "experts" who vetted the credentials of Robertson, so when the kids started digging a little deeper into her, Smith had to step aside and allow Eric Thomas, executive director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association, and other proficient journalists to lend a hand. 

On April 4, 28 days after she was hired, Robertson resigned, after telling the Kansas City STAR that all three of her degrees "have been authenticated by the U.S. government," and refused to talk about the facts the students unearthed "because their concerns are not based on facts."

Some of the high school journalists worked through their spring break to bring out the facts about the charlatan would-be principal. 
The future is in good hands

And that makes me wonder how hard the adults who were supposed to hire the best person to run the school for these and the other students worked to find about Robertson's credentials.

If they worked at all. 

People used to trot out the expression "youth must be served," and I have no idea what that means. If it means that young people should be catered to and patronized, no need! They're all right on their own. This is the perfect example. The adults in the town of Pittsburg should be bowing their collective heads in shame.

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