Hernando fourth-grader speaks out against new FSA testing

By Ferdinand Zogbaum, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, March 21, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

A Brooksville Elementary student isn't happy with the new statewide testing in schools, and she's making her opinion known.

Sydney Smoot, 9, spoke Tuesday in front of the Hernando County School Board. She told school leaders that she's not happy with the new Florida Standards Assessments.

"I do not feel that all this FSA testing is accurate to tell how successful I am," she said in her speech.

The fourth-grader says the testing causes way too much anxiety for students.

"I just don't think it's fair because one test defines you as either a success or failure," Sydney said.

She also says she had to sign a form telling her not to talk about the testing with her parents. She felt the need to speak up.

"I just wanted to do it so that I would help a lot of people that are being forced to take the test," she said.

Sydney's mother helped a little with the speech but says most of it was her daughter, and that she is very proud of her.

"She's just a natural at it," Jennifer Smoot said. "I could never be that way, but I'm so blessed that she it."

Sydney said she's proud of herself, too.

"I felt proud of myself for taking a stand and standing up for all those students that had to take this FSA test."