VIDEO: A 9-Year-Old Tells Her School Board Exactly What She Thinks of Florida’s Standardized Testing, and It’s Brutal

VIDEO: A 9-Year-Old Tells Her School Board Exactly What She Thinks of Florida’s Standardized Testing, and It’s Brutal

Forcing students to undergo pointless, time-consuming, and expensive testing so the government can feel like they’re doing something for education has most Americans frustrated and fed up. But it’s not often that a 9-year-old gets in front of her school board to tell them how much she hates the tests, too.

sydney smoot

Sydney Smoot, a 9-year-old fourth-grader in Hernando County, Florida, delivered a powerful speech last month to her school board in opposition to the troubled Florida Standards Assessment testing.

Her speech left the audience applauding.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the school board, I urge you to put a stop to high-stakes testing today!” Sydney declared, giving an impassioned solo delivery of the speech her mother helped her write.

Florida’s testing regime isn’t Common Core — Florida ditched the standards last year — though the Washington Post noted that Florida’s replacement testing standards are “remarkably similar” to Common Core.

Noting that the tests come wrapped in a weird veil of secrecy — students are asked to sign a form saying they won’t discuss the test with their parents, and grades are only delivered after the end of the school year — Sydney told the school board, “I have the right to talk to my parents about any and everything related to school and my education.”

She also noted that the high-stakes testing was limiting real learning and cutting into a much-needed activity: recess.

These tests don’t accomplish anything beyond hurting the education American students receive. Bravo to this girl for standing up for her right to a decent education.

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