All eyes were on Miami Gardens high school student Kamilah Campbell late December and early January as she challenged the College Board and the Educational Test Service’s decision to flag her October SAT scores. Campbell’s case garnered national attention after famed civil-rights attorney, Ben Crump, was hired to represent her in her fight against the two powerful entities. In early January, Crump criticized the testing service’s lack of transparency and lack of providing evidence of the cheating it alleged in a letter to Campbell. Since, there were no more public comments made on the case until last Thursday, when Crump announced that he will no longer represent Campbell and that the teen may consider retaking the SAT.
"Ben Crump Law and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC will no longer be pursuing claims on behalf of Kamilah Campbell," reads a statement issued to CNN.
Crump said that the extra attention Campbell received after going public with a demand for the testing service to validate her October SAT scores has taken a toll on her.
Last year in March, Campbell scored a 900 out of a possible 1,600 in her first SAT attempt, a score that would have prevented her from attending Florida State University, her dream school. After committing to a study regime using College Board-approved materials, Campbell scored close to a 1,230, she believes.
The College Board, however, has not released her officials test scores. Student scores are never held or cancelled simple because of score gains, the College Board said back in January. The reviewing process is the same for all students; race, ethnicity or any other personal attributes have no role in this process, the board said.
"The attention generated by Kamilah's case has been extremely stressful and emotionally traumatizing for her," the statement from Ben Crump Law reads.
At present, Campbell is focused on graduating high school and plans to retake the SAT. “FSU is of vital importance to me. I have decided to retake the SAT and prove that I am capable of scoring higher than 900 and then some.”
Campbell will have to pay $47.50 for a third time to take the reading and the math portion of the test.
The national attention has Campbell stressed out, she said.
“Since the press conference and the SAT situation going viral, my life has become a story of conversation,” Campbell told The Miami Times. “Emotionally, I found myself stressed with answering the same questions over and over again.”
The flagged SAT scores are delaying her university admissions process and could potentially cost her thousands in scholarships and financial aid.
However, Campbell, a dancer and honor roll senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, still has her eyes set on attending Florida State University in the near future.
“Rather than further challenging the score validity process, she is now interested in potentially retaking the SAT and continuing her path forward privately as she pursues her college goals,” reads Crump’s statement.
The attorney said he will continue to work with the College Board and the testing service to address the concern’s brought forward in Campbell’s case.
"We look forward to exploring ways to make the test security process more transparent and to addressing the broader educational needs of students," the statement reads. "The parties will be meeting again in the very near future."
The nonprofit Triumphant People Community Task Force, who has supported Campbell and her family throughout the length of her case against the testing service, will continue to provide support and work with her to complete her educational endeavors.
“Kamilah is a bright, well-mannered, inspiring young individual that is going to be an asset to our society as she grows and prospers,” the task force said in a statement.
In addition to the national attention, Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent and board members rallied behind the teenager. School board member Steve Gallon filed legislation to review whether the school system had a process in place to support students with flagged scores.
Gallon on Monday said he respected Campbell’s decision regarding her case and noted that “her decision in no way relates to or impacts the School Board’s unanimous decision last month to address such instances moving forward.
“The weight of taking on a multimillion dollar private corporation is nothing to be taken lightly – especially for a young students,” Gallon said in a statement.
“Kamilah’s case, along with others, however, has shed national light on the need for ETS to have clear, concise, and expedient processes to resolve such disputes when college entrance examination scores are held without timely notification, response, or explanation. For me, the matter of due process for such students still remains an issue that needs to be addressed at all levels – something in which I stand in continued advocacy.”