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Cheating Accusations Prompt Civil Rights Lawsuit

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on January 3, 2019 20:45

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A student accused of cheating on a standardized test has filed legal action.

When most people are in school, they've probably received a grade or score they were less than happy with. The feeling of doing worse than expected stings, and the feeling of working hard and improving is rewarding. In one such case involving a student taking the SAT, though, things didn't quite work out this way.

Kamilah Campbell, an 18 year-old high school student in Florida, had this experience after taking the SAT. Her first time taking the SAT, she earned a score of 900 out of a possible 1600. Feeling disappointed, she retook the test, and her second score was 1230. However, any happiness over the score improvement was short lived when the Educational Testing Service and College Board refused to validate her score. 

According to these organizations, there were some discrepancies in her answers on some sections when compared to other test takers. This preliminary analysis has led them to believe she cheated, and her exam is pending further review. 

Now cheating accusations are nothing new. But where the story gets interesting is Campbell's response. In response to the cheating allegations, Campbell has hired a civil rights lawyer, and is suing the administrative agencies. Her lawyer claims that the agencies are trying to assassinate her character, and his social media posts suggest that a racially motivated stance was taken. 

It seems difficult to believe Campbell's argument at the outset. Character assassination doesn't seem a likely, given the near anonymous nature of the testing process. The administrative bureaucrats grading the test have never seen this student, and have little more to work with than an exam number and perhaps a name only. There are strict rules involving publication of an individual's grades, which further damages the credibility of a character assassination attempt. However, this should not be seen as proof of Campbell's ill-gotten score; errors and wrong judgments in agencies such as this are nothing new, and it is perfectly plausible the agencies misjudged Campbell's score without an ulterior motive. 

Regardless of whose story is true, or how this case proceeds, it certainly provides a unique way of combating cheating allegations in the future. 

Joe Ranvestel

Posted on January 3, 2019 20:45

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Source: HuffPost
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