Student accused of cheating on her SAT drops legal battle, may just take test again

Kamilah Campbell, the Miami Gardens high school senior who boosted her SAT score by 330 points in October and had to fight to prove that she’d done so legitimately, is giving up her public battle with administrators.

She’s not going to fight to validate her improved SAT performance anymore. She’s considering taking the SAT again instead, she told CNN through her attorneys on Thursday.

Her attorneys and the College Board released a statement to CNN: “The attention generated by Kamilah’s case has been extremely stressful and emotionally traumatizing for her,” read the statement by attorneys at Ben Crump Law and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, and the College Board.

Administrators became suspicious when Campbell, 18, bumped her 900 score on the SAT in March to a 1230 in October on her second try. A 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (or more commonly called SAT) is considered a perfect score. The SAT tests high school students on their writing and mathematical skills and is required to pursue most higher education degrees.

Campbell, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High in Miami, aspired to attend Florida State University and pursue dance. She still does.

The March 2018 score of 900, just above average, wasn’t high enough to distinguish a student before college boards. So she says she buckled down before that October redo.

She told the Herald in January that her mom bought her “a prep book the size of a phone book.” She studied before, during, and after school — and during breaks at a Miami Gardens dance studio where she worked and studied, she said.

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A supporter of Kamilah Campbell, a high school senior at Michael Krop High who has been accused by SAT officials of cheating because her scores jumped beyond the norm, wears a button stating her support for Campbell during her press conference at Miami News Net studios in Miami, Florida on Jan. 2, 2019.

Carl Juste cjuste@miamiherald.com

So Campbell was crushed when, a few weeks after taking the SAT in October and improving her score, her integrity was called into question. She received a letter from the Educational Testing Service, which administers the test, that told her her scores were flagged.

The insult was compounded, she said, when the College Board, which develops the college readiness SAT, told her that her test was under review because the 330-point jump so soon after the first attempt suggested she likely had “prior knowledge” of the test, the Herald reported in January.

Crump, her attorney, an FSU alumnus who represented Trayvon Martin’s family, took up Campbell’s cause.

Aside from the statement they released to CNN Thursday, the two haven’t elaborated.

Though the law firms are no longer pursuing claims on behalf of Campbell, the statement added that there was the hope that the test security process and its evaluation could become more “transparent” and that the doors haven’t been closed.

“The parties will be meeting again in the very near future.”