Earlier today, I published an essay about testing (“The Voice of a Data-Point”) by a sixth-grade student, Noa Rosinplotz. Her story was so thoughtful and well-written that some commenters could not believe it was written by a sixth grade student. I emailed Noa and asked her to read the comments and respond. This is what she wrote:

“This is Noa, original writer of the letter. I’m responding to all the comments that I’m not actually in sixth grade or that someone else wrote my letter for me. While my mom did read what I wrote, to make sure it wasn’t “obnoxious” (as she put it), she didn’t make any written edits and I wrote the letter entirely by myself. I used other sources, like Diane Ravitch’s book, for information, but every word in the letter not in quotation marks was entirely my own. The fact that I’m not a certified adult educator shouldn’t make people doubt the authenticity of my letter, it should make what I write all the more accurate, as a student taking the tests. No one “guided my hand”, and protesting standardized tests was my idea and my idea only. I love to write and to make my ideas public, and I thought that if anyone was going to pay attention to my letter, I had to make it as mature and detailed as possible. I wrote a few letters to DCPS in response to their tests at the end of last year, and when I received no response, decided to make my opinions more public. I’m very interested in No Child Left Behind, especially because I’ve never experienced school without standardized tests. It’s not weird that I’M interested in researching tests, it’s weird that adults who have never taken them are. In response to “sixth graders just don’t write this way”, they obviously do, since I’m a sixth grader.”