When we hear about complaints over Common Core testing, there's usually a parent sitting behind the microphone. But last week, it was a Brooksville, FL, fourth grader who stole the spotlight during a local school board meeting. Nine-year-old Sydney Smoot stood before the Hernando County School Board and bravely expressed her thoughts on the new Florida Standards Assessments. Here is an excerpt from her almost three-minute speech:
"This testing looks at me as a number. One test defines me as either a failure or a success through a numbered rubric. One test at the end of the year that the teacher or myself will not even see the grade until after the school year is already over. I do not feel that all this FSA testing is accurate to tell how successful I am. It doesn't take in account all of my knowledge and abilities — just a small percentage."
She went on to express her disbelief with the testing practice that required her to sign a form saying she wouldn't tell her parents, teachers, or friends about what was on the exam.
Though her mom helped her a bit with the speech, it was all Sydney up there, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd when she was done. We don't know if her words had any influence on the school board, but we're willing to bet she learned more in the prep and delivery of her speech than she did studying for the test.