A newly-hired principal at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Kansas, was forced to resign from her promised $93,000 per year job after student journalists found out her credentials were fake.
“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, one of the reporters from the school’s paper, said. “We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials.”
According to PJ Media, the would-be principal, Amy Robertson, got her degree from a diploma mill:
Her alma mater is a diploma mill, where people buy fake degrees. Corllins University, where Robertson allegedly received her master's and doctorate degrees, is not accredited and has no known physical address. Its website is an obvious sham, as is its Facebook page, where you can read comments from a lot of unhappy customers, many of whom come from foreign countries.
According to a consumer watchdog group, Corllins University was started out of Pakistan by a crook named Salem Kureshi, who operates other “universities.” The Facebook page of Corllins is full of complaints of people being scammed out of thousands of dollars, save one happy "customer:"
I am so proud to be a Corllins graduate - with six summa cum laude doctorates, with Awards of Excellence and Distinction in Religious Studies. They even had it authenticated by the government. If only I could get more degrees - but six is the limit! With Great Esteem, an alumna.
Another student journalist, Maddie Baden, said the team of six students discovered Robertson lived in Dubai on and off for almost two decades and that they found news articles showing the woman was denied a principal job at a science school there because of issues with her credentials.
“That raised a red flag," Baden said. "If students could uncover this, I want to know why the adults couldn’t find this."
(Give her a round of applause for stating the obvious.)
The U.S. Department of Education confirmed the students’ findings and explained Corllins wasn’t in operation according to the federal government. However, Robertson defended here degrees saying, “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.”
“All three of my degrees have been authenticated by the US government,” Robertson added. “I have no comment in response to the questions posed by PHS students regarding my credentials because their concerns are not based on facts.”
Pittsburg schools superintendent Destry Brown announced changes to the district’s vetting process for new hires and released the following statement:
"In light of the issues that arose, Dr. Robertson felt it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position. The Board has agreed to accept her resignation… As superintendent, I feel like I let the teachers and the students down. I publicly admit that.”
Um, yeah, to say the least.
Now, somebody get these kids jobs at a national newspaper. Perhaps real journalism isn't dead.