Fourth-grader’s speech on state testing gets a standing ovation

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BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — One little girl is making jaws drop because of just how grown-up she sounds.

Fourth grader Sydney Smoot was testifying in front of a school board about state testing in Florida earlier this month.

“I consider myself a well educated young lady,” Smoot proudy said, “however, with FSA tests my five years of school — all on honor roll — do not matter.”

Sydney suggests tests be administered throughout the year, instead of once at the end of the year. “One test defines me as either a failure or a success through a numbered rubric.” That test score is not revealed until after that school year is over, according to Smoot.

She’s also concerned about a form in the test requiring students to refrain from talking about the test to parents. “I am not comfortable signing something like this,” Sydney said, “I have the right to talk to my parents about any- and everything related to school and my education.”

Sydney’s speech against state tests captured the attention of her audience. They quickly began recording and taking photographs of the girl. At the end the crowd rose to their feet and offered booming applause.

Sydney calls for parents and students to contact Florida Governor Rick Scott to stop or change the way tests are handled.