A Florida student whose SAT score improved by over 300 points hired a famous civil rights attorney to defend her after the Educational Testing Services invalidated her score.
Kamilah Campbell, 18, from Miami Gardens, said that after she got an initial SAT score of 900 out of 1600 in March, her mom hired a tutor to help her, she took online classes and bought a copy of the Princeton Review test prep book. Her Oct. 6 score was 1230, something she and her lawyer, Ben Crump, argue is the product of hard work, CNN reported.
Following her score increase, Campbell received a letter from ETS reading, “Our preliminary concerns are based on a 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.”
Campbell enlisted high-profile civil rights attorney Crump to help her fight against the testing company after it flagged her score. Campbell and Crump believe the testing company is accusing her of cheating.
“My name is Kamilah Campbell. I didn’t cheat,” Campbell told Local 10 at a press conference on Wednesday.
“I studied to achieve my dreams, and I know to achieve them, I had to be focused and dedicated. And I won’t let ETS or anyone take my dreams away from me.”
Crump is an alum of Florida State University, where Campbell hopes to enroll in the dance program. Although, due to her to delayed scores, she may not be able to reach her Jan. 1 college deadline. The review could take anywhere between four and six weeks.
“We’re outraged about the accusation, the innuendo that this young black student can’t achieve,” Crump told CBS. “That if she is to have achieved a 1230 on the SAT, then she must’ve done something inappropriate. We reject that allegation.”
The superintendent of the Miami-Dade school district, Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, called the predicament “disturbing.”
“Although this is a test administered by a private entity, and not M-DCPS, we feel a moral obligation to intervene,” Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said.
Campbell’s high school teacher Julio Estrada is also speaking up about Campbell’s hard work. Campbell is an honors student and has a 3.1 GPA.
“[Campbell] struck me as an individual who worked hard to improve her grade in my class,” he told The Miami Times. “During her time in my class, I never witnessed any dishonesty or other issues with integrity coming from her.”
Zach Goldberg, a spokesperson for the College Board, said that tests aren’t flagged on scores alone.
“The letter never references score gains as a reason for her scores being under review,” Goldberg told CNN in an email.