33° Good Evening
33° Good Evening

Fourth-grader's speech on standardized testing gets standing ovation

Fourth grader's standardized testing speech gets standing ovation

She could hardly reach the microphone, but that didn't stop her from sharing her opinions at a Hernando County School Board meeting.

"Hello fellow members of the school board. Today I will express my concerns about the FSA testing," Sydney Smoot, a fourth-grade student of Brooksville Elementary in Florida, said during the March meeting.

Sydney stood in front of parents and administrators to express her own concerns with standardized testing. For nearly three minutes, she shared her ideas on how current procedures can be improved.

She said she considers herself "a well-educated young lady" but feels the current testing system blurs the lines of her academic success.

"One test defines me as either a failure or a success through a numbered rubric," she said, explaining that with FSA testing, her "five years of school -- and on honor roll -- do not matter."

Sydney also mentioned concerns with certain testing procedures including the requirement that students sign a form stating they will refrain from speaking about the test with their parents.

“I am not comfortable signing something like this,” she said. “I have the right to talk to my parents about any- and everything related to school and my education.”

She urged parents to contact Florida Gov. Rick Scott with similar testing concerns.

At the end of her speech, Sydney received a standing ovation.

News Photos and Videos