Black ExperienceEducation

Black Student Accused of Cheating on SAT Mulls Lawsuit

Kamilah Campbell’s second set of SAT scores were deemed invalid by the national testing company that many colleges use as a requirement for entry.

Campbell, who attends Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Miami and is an honor student, had initially taken the exam in March and scored a 900 without preparation or studying. Once she received her score, Campbell, with her parents, invested in a tutor and she even took online classes, as well as obtained a copy of a The Princeton Review prep book.

She diligently studied and retook the exam. This time she scored a 1230 out of 1600 points. But the Educational Testing Services (ETS) and the college board accused her of cheating and invalidated the better score. Not only did the ETS invalidate the score but Campbell missed the deadline to apply to her first-choice school, Florida State University.

The letter sent to Campbell by the ETS stated: “We are writing to you because based on a preliminary review, there appears to be substantial evidence that your scores are invalid. Our preliminary concerns are based on substantial agreement between your answers on one or more scored sections of the test and those of other test takers. The anomalies noted above raise concerns about the validity of your scores.”

“I did not cheat,” Campbell said during a press conference last week in Miami. “I studied, and I focused to achieve my dream. I worked so hard and did everything I could do.”

Campbell’s tutor and teachers vouched for efforts as well. The decision wasn’t overturned.

The College Board issued a statement in response to the claims, denying that any unfair methods factored into the decision.

“We do not hold SAT scores for score increases alone,” a board spokesperson said. “We follow the same process for reviewing scores for all students; race, ethnicity, or any other personal attributes have no role in this process.”

The Campbell family has hired civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and plans to file a lawsuit against the organizations.

“ETS violated Kamilah’s constitutional right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and denied Kamilah due process,” Crump’s office said in a media advisory.

The full press release can be read below.

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