CORRECTION: Previous versions of this story mischaracterized the nature of the review board and its findings. The outside experts acted as three separate investigators. UNC's Provost Office issued the internal review. The outside review found that the test used to gauge reading levels was not a valid test of reading. This story has been changed to reflect this information. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
This story has been updated to reflect these changes as well us updates in the story.
UPDATE (4:31 p.m.): Mary Willingham, the tutor at the center of the research, responded to the press release in an email.
"For now I will just say that the University neglected to take even the most basic steps to ensure the integrity, impartiality, and fairness of its supposedly 'independent' review of my data," she said.
"The fact that they engaged in this exercise without ever seeking input from me or my research partner, and without the raw scores, or an examination of the full battery of tests (on a majority of these same athletes) available in Accessibility Resources speaks volumes about the true motivations behind today's press release."
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): The outside review of former athletic tutor Mary Willingham’s research determined the test she used on student-athletes could not accurately gauge their reading level.
“The data do not support public claims about the students’ reading ability,” the press release issued Friday said.
Willingham said her research determined that 60 percent of a sample of 183 athletes were not college-literate. She said she used the Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults and SAT scores to evaluate literacy levels, as well as ACT scores, GPA’s, credit hours and academic standing information.
“While SATA RV (the 25-question, multiple choice vocabulary subtest) results can be informative as part of screening for learning differences and/or disabilities, they are not accepted by the psychological community as an appropriate measure of reading grade level and literacy," the press release said.