Florida high school student drops fight to validate her SAT score

Author: Jason Hanna, CNN
Credit: CNN

A Florida high school student has abandoned her fight to validate one of her SAT scores, her attorneys say, weeks after she cried foul over test administrators’ decision to investigate it over alleged signs of possible cheating.

Kamilah Campbell, a Miami Gardens high school senior, instead is considering another retake of the SAT, her attorneys and the College Board said in a joint statement given to CNN on Thursday.

“The attention generated by Kamilah’s case has been extremely stressful and emotionally traumatizing for her,” the statement from Ben Crump Law, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, and the College Board reads.

“Rather than further challenging the score validity process, she is now interested in potentially retaking the SAT and continuing her path forward privately as she pursues her college goals.”

Campbell and attorney Ben Crump held a news conference in early January, saying they believed test administrators were holding up one of her scores — a 1230 — because it was too high an improvement from her initial effort, a 900. And they were concerned that the delay would keep her from applying to colleges and scholarships in a timely manner.

But the College Board, which develops the test, and the Educational Testing Service, the test administrator, pushed back. An ETS letter sent to Campbell said her second score was being investigated primarily over concerns that her answers aligned too closely with those of other test takers.

And the College Board said a score is never flagged solely on score gains, but that a number of factors come into play, including any absence of notes and calculations in testing booklets, which students must turn in.

Campbell insisted in early January that she didn’t cheat, but instead improved her score through intense preparation.
The College Board then said on January 4 that a report with initial evidence triggering the score’s review was on its way to Campbell.

Neither side has said what the report shows. Neither Crump nor Campbell publicly commented again about the case until Thursday’s joint statement.

The College Board and Crump declined to further comment Thursday.

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