By Samantha Grossman
April 2, 2015

The new standardized testing system in Florida has been controversial, with many students, parents and administrators questioning its validity and fairness. Fourth-grader Sydney Smoot is particularly concerned about standardized testing, and in a recent meeting of the Hernando County School Board, she decided to speak up.

“This testing looks at me as a number,” Smoot tells the members of the school board. “One test defines me as either a failure or a success through a numbered rubric.”

She goes on to lay out the rest of her concerns. For example, she says students are made to sign a form stating they can’t discuss the test with anyone, even their parents. “I have the right to talk to my parents about any and everything related to school and my education,” she says.

Her passionate two-minute speech — which we wish had been punctuated with a mic drop — earns cheers and a standing ovation.

Read next: Leaving Standardized Testing Behind

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