domingo, 5 de abril de 2015

Speech Against Standardized Tests

Listen to this outspoken 9-year-old student express her opinion against standardized tests (this speech was given on March, 17th, 2015).  

Her name is Sydney Smoot, a fourth-grader at Brooksville Elementary School and she is speaking in front of the Hernando County School Board (Florida, USA).

standardized test is any form of test that 

(1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that 
(2) is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual.

I want you to focus on the following points in the video:

  • the way she articulates her speech: her eloquence and her hand gestures to emphasize her points
  • the content of her speech: her opinion about standardized testing in general, the merit of the exam, her objection to the prohibition of talking  about the contents of the reading section - even to her parents

For the record, she got some help from her mum but the ideas on her speech are mostly hers.



Hello fellow members of the school board. Today I will express my concerns about the FSA testing. I consider myself a well-educated young lady. However with FSA tests my five years of school, all on honor roll, do not matter.
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 my knowledge and abilities, just a small percentage.
Here are my concerns:
First of all, I do not feel good about a form in the FSA that you have to sign ensuring 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 abilities. 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.
So ladies and gentlemen of the school board, I urge you to put a stop to high stakes testing today. It is not fair for the schools, teachers, and students. Parents and students, contact your governor. Put a stop to all the standardized testing.
Thank you so much for your time.

Do you agree / disagree with Sydney? 

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