Disgraced Former Fox Superintendent Hired by Pearson Education

20 May

One would think that allegations of defamatory online comments directed at parents, misuse of district credit cards, securing overpaid, unsupervised jobs and scholarships for one’s own children, hiring cronies, misuse of district property, and more would disqualify someone from employment at most reputable businesses. However, such actions apparently do not matter to international education conglomerate Pearson, which hired disgraced former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow for a short-term assignment to do Quality Assurance site visits during last month’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing as part of a contract with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), according to information from DESE and the Mehlville School District.

I received a tip that Critchlow was spotted at Oakville Elementary during MAP testing in April. I was able to determine through Sunshine Law requests that Critchlow is working for Pearson, which was contracted by DESE to do MAP site visits. During these visits, assessors interview district personnel who administer the tests, document training, review documents, and visit classrooms. Here is a form that Critchlow would have filled out after her visit to Oakville Elementary. It is interesting that Critchlow, who ignored and flouted policies as Fox superintendent, is now charged with assessing schools’ adherence to testing policies.

DESE was unable to identify at what other schools Critchlow performed site visits.

In Pearson’s contract with DESE, the company states that it asks the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) for recommendations for retired teachers to hire to do these site visits. However, the JeffCo MSTA representative tells me that they did not recommend Critchlow.

Pearson Education is a British company known for its involvement in Common Core and standardized testing. This is from a Politico profile of the company:

A POLITICO investigation has found that Pearson stands to make tens of millions in taxpayer dollars and cuts in student tuition from deals arranged without competitive bids in states from Florida to Texas. The review also found Pearson’s contracts set forth specific performance targets — but don’t penalize the company when it fails to meet those standards. And in the higher ed realm, the contracts give Pearson extensive access to personal student data, with few constraints on how it is used.

Pearson also gained notoriety for a perplexing pineapple question on a New York standardized test.

I wondered if Critchlow inked any deals with Pearson while she was superintendent? I couldn’t find any evidence that this occurred.

Action Items

Does this revelation about Critchow’s new gig bother you? If so, here are some actions you can take:

– Contact the Commissioner of DESE, Dr. Margie Vandeven, at commissioner@dese.mo.gov. Ask her if she approves of DESE contractors hiring disgraced former superintendents to work in Missouri schools performing contracted DESE duties.

– Contact Pearson’s DESE point of contact at nancy.foerstel@pearson.com and ask if Pearson makes a habit of hiring disgraced former superintendents.

– Forward this to your friends in the Mehlville district. If you live in the Mehlville, e-mail your superintendent at riddern@mehlvilleschooldistrict.net and ask him to tell DESE to stop sending Dianne Critchlow into your schools. [Update: the district tells me that they have no say in this matter.]

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7 Responses to “Disgraced Former Fox Superintendent Hired by Pearson Education”

  1. Logue (@manateespirit) May 22, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    Thanks so much for this information! Reposted here:

    http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/pearson-hires-former-superintendent-who-cyberbullied-citizens/

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  2. Anne Gassel May 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Can you clarify something for me? The state is contracted with McGraw Hill to administer the MAP (SBAC) testing this spring. The form you linked was for End of Course assessments which I do believe the state contracts with Pearson for. It seems odd that Pearson would be doing oversight for a MH contract. Could it be that she was doing oversight for the EOC’s, not the MAP/SBAC?

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pearson Hires Former Superintendent Who Cyberbullied Citizens » Missouri Education Watchdog - May 22, 2015

    […] This superintendent’s professional judgment was ultimately found to be lacking as she didn’t follow board policies and bullied parents via anonymous internet postings.  She was relieved of her job duties at the school district and allowed to resign.  But apparently such unprofessional and unethical behavior doesn’t exclude a disgraced employee from obtaining employment from Pearson.  From Disgraced Former Fox Superintendent Hired by Pearson Education: […]

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  2. Pearson Hires Former Superintendent Who Cyberbullied Citizens | Grumpy Opinions - May 26, 2015

    […] This superintendent’s professional judgment was ultimately found to be lacking as she didn’t follow board policies and bullied parents via anonymous internet postings.  She was relieved of her job duties at the school district and allowed to resign.  But apparently such unprofessional and unethical behavior doesn’t exclude a disgraced employee from obtaining employment from Pearson.  From Disgraced Former Fox Superintendent Hired by Pearson Education: […]

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    […] media is on my report about Pearson Education hiring disgraced Fox superintendent Dianne Critchlow as a MAP testing […]

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