Activism

Brilliant 4th Grader Makes Speech To School Board In Protest Of Common Core Standardized Tests

Watch this 9-year-old drop knowledge on her public school board!

girl-speechSydney Smoot, a 4th grader in Hernando County Schools in Florida, recently gave an honest and brave speech in front of the county school board, voicing her opposition to the new common core standardized tests that she will soon be forced to take.

The very intelligent and well-spoken 9-year-old had some help from her mother writing the speech, but she delivered it on her own, to a board of school administrators.

In her powerful speech Smoot said that:

I consider myself a well-educated young lady. However with FSA tests, my five years of school …do not matter. This testing looks at me as a number. One test defines me either as a failure or a success through a numbered rubric. One test at the end of the year that the teacher or myself will not be able to see the grade until the school year is already over. I do not think all this FSA testing is accurate to tell how successful I am. It doesn’t take into account all of my knowledge and abilities, just a small percentage.

Here are my concerns. First of all, I do not feel good about a form on the FSA that you have to sign assuring that you can’t even discuss the test with your parents. I am not comfortable signing something like this. I have the right to talk to my parents about any and everything related to school and my education.

Second, why am I being forced to take a test that hasn’t even been tested on students here in Florida? So how can it be accurate and valid on what I know? Why are we taking most of the year stressing and prepping for one test at the end of the year when we should be taking tests throughout the year that really measure our ability? My opinion is that we should take a test at the beginning of the year, middle and end of the school year to accurately measure what we know.

Third, the stress and pressure that this testing puts on me and I’m sure most students is not healthy. Why should we have so much stress about one test when we should be learning and having fun in school. With all this testing in school, more fun things in school such as recess are being eliminated because of all the training for the test.

Students all over the country have been voicing their opposition to the new common core curriculum and standardized tests. As we reported several months ago, hundreds of high school students from Cherry Creek High School, in Colorado, refused to take the newly imposed standardized tests, and only 24 out of 877 seniors at the school actually ended up taking the test.

Cherry Creek was not alone either, students all across the state were boycotting the test. In the entire school district that Cherry Creek is a part of, a mere 63% of students actually took the test, which is much higher than Cherry Creek, but still far lower than average.

In the nearby Boulder Valley School District, 84% of students joined in the protest and refused to take the tests. Some students even spent their time collecting food and donations for low-income families while they cut school during test taking time.

While the numbers happen to be staggering in this area, standardized testing rebellion is starting to become a widespread practice all across the US, as we can see with the case of Sydney Smoot.


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