Imagine studying hard to pass the exams you need to get into the college of your dreams only for your hard work to be deemed “invalid.”
#KamilahCampbell, a high school senior from Miami Gardens, Florida, has worked tirelessly to get into Florida State University so she can major in dance. With a 3.1 GPA and an immense amount of dance experience she knows she has what it takes to be admitted.
However, on her first attempt at the SATs, she earned a 900 test score. Campbell knew she could do better so she took the steps she needed: her mother got her a tutor, she took online classes and even got a copy of The Princeton Review prep book. Seven months passed and it was time to retake the test. When her results finally arrived, she was shocked to see enclosed wasn’t her scores, but rather a letter letting her know something went “wrong.”
“We are writing to you because based on a preliminary review, there appears to be substantial evidence that your scores … are invalid,” it said. “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 realized the test company could possibly be accusing her of cheating and decided to contact them to receive her scores. When she called a representative, they told her she earned a combined 1230 from the reading, writing and language, math and essay sections on her second effort. A perfect score of 1600. “I did not cheat. I studied, and I focused to achieve my dream,” she told reporters Wednesday. “I worked so hard and did everything I could do.”
Now Campbell is taking legal action and demanding the company validate her scores in time for her to be admitted into Florida State. She’s hired prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who also is a Florida State graduate. “Instead of celebrating her and celebrating her achievement, they are trying to assassinate her character, and we won’t stand for that,” he said. The company has two weeks to respond to the demand letter, Crump said. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Campbell and Crump now are involved in The College Board’s “consistent, established procedure to assess the validity of scores,” Goldberg said by email. It includes “the opportunity to provide relevant information, which is used to help make determinations about the validity of the test scores following a complete investigation.”