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Student Punished over SAT Score Improvement

CC AdminCC Admin 29515 replies3000 threadsAdministrator Senior Member
edited January 2019 in SAT Preparation
This discussion was created from comments split from: ACT Testing Wrongly Accusing Cheating 2017.
edited January 2019
94 replies
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Replies to: Student Punished over SAT Score Improvement

  • mathhappymathhappy 100 replies13 threads Junior Member
    Don't know if anyone saw this, but an article in the Miami Times a few days ago may be the beginning of coverage for this issue: https://www.miamitimesonline.com/education/miami-gardens-student-punished-over-sat-scores/article_71a65c2e-0a22-11e9-a5f9-8bfb9e4312e3.html I'm not personally affected by this messed-up process but I feel so badly for all of you who are!
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1657 replies33 threads Senior Member
    ^The above article is about the SAT, not the ACT. (The article is a little odd in that it references ETS, but I think the referenced Office of Testing Integrity is part of College Board, not ETS. While ETS's current role is unclear, ETS is believed to no longer write the SAT1 since its 2016 redesign. There was a significant cheating issue for the international Oct 2018 SAT and perhaps that is related to whatever College Board process flagged this student.)
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  • affirmaffirm 39 replies3 threads Junior Member
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    "Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, a Florida State graduate, got involved when asked to help by other FSU alums. He is steering Campbell and her mother through the process of demanding The College Board validate her score in time for her to be accepted into the Florida State dance program."

    Um, not sure suing your way into admission will work in general. Good luck to anyone going that route!

    At least CNN seemed to get the facts right.

    Those innocent testers facing this situation should be able to provide enough evidence to establish that they weren't cheating. The big injustices were that ACT delayed the review until the student was near graduated, used a secretive process for arbitration, and ignored detailed information submitted by the student after requesting such.

    This case seems distinguishable in many respects from what testers and their families here are going through. Ms. Campbell retook the test just this past October and was notified within two months (which seems like a reasonable amount of time). Her response is to hire a civil rights lawyer who then demands that the testing agency reverse the results so that she can attend her "dream school". Maybe it's just the snippet of video but this resembles a strategic tactic more than a good-faith effort of the accused to establish her innocence. Have they provided the evidence to the testing agency or to the press? Cheating does occur and it's a terrible problem. Would be great if CNN could include a bit of reporting there to more balanced and less like an advocate for one side.

    This is not to diminish any legitimate achievement Ms. Campbell accomplished. CB (or ETS as she continues to maintain - perhaps they are functioning as the investigative arm here) should do the right thing in the right amount of time - demonstrating neither capriciousness in examination of her test results nor cowardice in the face of any bullying by lawyers or the press.
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  • spqr70njspqr70nj 420 replies2 threads Member
    I hope she wins. The College Board is a joke. They have no control over their testing materials. The tests administered in June 2018 and August 2018 were a disgrace. A prior international test being reissued - no modifications - and a harsh curve because they couldn’t come up with challenging questions. The students are the ones that are affected. Didn’t hit the College Board’s bottom-line.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 808 replies9 threads Member
    Why one and done? Makes no sense.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 808 replies9 threads Member
    JB - it is clearly stated in coverage that she bought and used a book also.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9640 replies121 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2019
    The news reports that I read & saw indicated that the increase in score alone would not warrant withholding one's SAT score. ETS claims that there is an additional irregularity in this case.

    Essentially, ETS is accusing the student of copying answers from nearby test takers.
    edited January 2019
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2019
    @Leigh22 - the more recent press coverage seems better informed than the initial coverage, which had garbled several facts and provided a confusing mash of her various prep sources.
    edited January 2019
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13225 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I'm following this. The reason for holding her score is so opaque, I'd love to see the CB/ETS have to explain exactly why they think she cheated. Suing may be the only way to do this.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Well, these guys have sophisticated modeling that helps them figure out whether a test should be flagged. For instance, if one test mimics another in terms of answers both right and wrong, or perhaps even in scratch marks or erasure marks, it's going to get flagged. The statistical modeling will let them know what the probability is that this could be random and some investigative work on their part (proximity to the other tester, etc.) fills in the rest. Whether they figure out if the two testers were in cahoots or one party was a victim of cheating is unclear. It's also unclear that Ms. Campbell is accused of cheating; she could be the unknowing victim of someone else who is cheating. ETS doesn't say, right? Nor do they say they do anything more in these types of cases other than offer a retest. Maybe it's too difficult to figure out whether any scheme took place. Lots of speculation but they aren't going to be more forthcoming. It's unfortunate that these things occur but - again - the main issue in this case is speed, which CB seems to be attempting. ACT - totally different story.
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  • marvin100marvin100 8568 replies1249 threads Senior Member
    I'm very, very skeptical that they really have "sophisticated modeling," and I've known totally honest students who worked super hard and made big gains only to have their scores cancelled. Very hard to have that conversation with a crying kid and a furious dad, let me tell you. Pretty sure I've written about at least one similar case on CC, even.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @marvin100: page 2, under the heading "Identification and Review of Testing Irregularities":

    "If further scrutiny of the scores is warranted—for example, if there are unusual similarities in the answers of examinees at the same test center—ACT staff may conduct additional statistical analyses that provide further information about the validity of the scores. In other cases, an examinee’s test materials may be referred to a forensic document examiner for a handwriting analysis that may produce evidence that someone other than the examinee wrote the test documents. If appropriate, test center staff may also be contacted to provide information about the test administration in question."

    https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/1202-Proc-for-Invest-Test-Irregs-2016-17.pdf
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 808 replies9 threads Member
    Nomatter - great summation. I agree, it is disturbing that from jump this young lady had been portrayed so poorly.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2019
    @nomatter - no one has portrayed the student unsympathetically. As pointed out earlier, she may well have been a victim of cheating. ETS and CB have not made any comment about circumstances, even assuming they had that exact information. Nor should they, given that it's a confidential matter. If the student decides to go public with a threatened lawsuit, that's the student's choice to make it public.

    The demand letter is pretty clear: ETS will release the score to the university or they will pursue a lawsuit. Not sure what your confusion is about that. Per TOS I can't post the letter but go to https://thegrio.com/2019/01/02/attorney-benjamin-crump-represents-kamilah-campbell-facing-cheating-accusations-after-sat-scores-deemed-too-improved/ and click on the highlighted words "demand letter" to read it in entirety.

    The postings about poor journalism were originally on another thread that were moved to this (newly created) one. The major news outlets picked up the story about a week later and reported a more complete picture, along with the new information that she had hired a civil rights attorney. By the way, the only ones maintaining that Kamilah Campbell has been punished for improving her scores are Kamilah Campbell and her legal team. ETS certainly hasn't said that and CB indicated quite the opposite: score improvements are celebrated.

    Also as pointed out, there is a notable difference here between ETS's timely notification and what ACT does (ambushes the student upon eve of graduation, sometimes more than a year after the test date in question, doesn't bother reviewing the packet that families provide to show testing prep, etc.). It's foolish to think that cheating doesn't happen, and students who work hard to do well should be relieved to know that procedures are in place to catch cheaters, and that they are put into action quickly.

    It's been over two weeks with no news so we don't yet know the outcome for this particular case.
    edited January 2019
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7273 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited January 2019
    "Here are the actual issues. The student took the SAT test as a junior (school day SAT, with no prep), and scored too low to get into her desired college, and to qualify for scholarships. She made a decision to do SAT prep, using the free resources of Khan academy (multiple hours per week), a tutor once per week, a study partner, and additionally purchased prep books. After seven months of intensive studying, she retook the test in October of her senior year, in more than enough time to apply by the application deadline. When she didn't get her scores when expected, she began contacting CollegeBoard who, on multiple occasions, told her that her score would be released "soon". For two months, when she could have retaken the SAT before the application deadline, they didn't even suggest that she retake the test. They didn't suggest that they found alleged 'anomolies'. College Board left her in the dark, and believing that her score would be released, in time. In December, a couple of weeks before the application deadline, ETS sent a letter saying that her scores would not be released until a "review" had taken place. This was the first time that she knew she was accused of cheating. She contacted them again, and they declined to let her submit her evidence of having studied. They also noted that the review would take about six weeks, causing her to miss the deadline to apply for both admissions and scholarships to Florida State. In turn, she asked to see the evidence, or even for them to provide the reasoning for flagging her test. ETS declined to tell her."

    Your facts are a bit off. ETS informed Ms. Campbell that her score had been flagged on 10/19, two weeks after she took the test. Read the letter.

    @nomatter
    edited January 2019
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