Evaluation: What are the quality standards of the school service?

By Paolo Mazzoli

With the sole exception of the teaching of a foreign language, from the beginning of school autonomy until now, no real standards of quality of school service have been defined, neither by the State nor by the communities. autonomous for matters within its competence. . When the National Indications came out, some commentators raised the question of the possibility of using the National Indications as a quality standard for learning, but it is clearly not so.[1]. A repertoire of quality standards must allow an objective measure of its actual achievement, also explaining the methods and conditions under which this measure is to be carried out.

Read the special “The point about the evaluation of schools in Italy” published in full in issue 623 of Tuttoscuola

When we don’t have a benchmark for a service, theoretically we might not even be able to evaluate it. However, over time, the progressive evolution of national standardized tests and the implementation of the RAV system have somehow compensated for the lack of official standards.

Since the introduction of the national computer-based tests (CBT), the analysis of the results of the Invalsi tests has allowed us to define five progressive levels of competence in Italian and mathematics that are added to the levels of competence derived from the CEFR for in English. . Given that, as mentioned, the frameworks of the Invalsi tests are strictly connected with the objectives reported in the National Indications and the Guides, we can consider the Invalsi levels as a first step to identify the standards of competence for to two fundamental disciplines. .

A similar argument can be made with reference to the RAV.

In fact, the RAV defines qualitative and quantitative indicators that take into account both school outcomes and the processes that take place in school. We need to think, for example, about the areas inherent in the curriculum, inclusion, continuity, teacher training and interaction with the territory and families. All these are aspects that define the quality of the school service, although they do not constitute the main purpose that continues being the one to develop suitable levels of learning in all the students, and that thanks to the RAV can be evaluated, although is of qualitatively, with the proposed rubrics.at the end of each area.

However, we must not forget this the RAV is a self-assessment tool (even if guided) and it is for this reason that the legislator who has defined purposes and procedures of the National Evaluation System (VNS) scheduled for the periodic visit of the External evaluation teams (NEV). In this way, in the design of the 2013 Regulation, an extremely balanced device was built which, not in vain, was also appreciated internationally.[2].

In short we can say that the lack of reference standards it should not preclude a reliable evaluation of efficacyat all levels (national system, schools, individual teachers), because now we not only have good quality national standardized tests but also because, thanks to the RAV, the test results, along with a considerable number of indicators and descriptors of result and process, are inserted in the context of each center and, therefore, can allow to pass of the simple comparison of quantitative data to a suitable interpretation that allows to formulate a sufficiently accurate description of each center and, what is more important , the elaboration of the improvement. paths firmly anchored in time and concrete goals

Read the other articles on the point about the evaluation of schools in Italy

The point about the evaluation of schools in Italy. The Tuttoscuola SPECIAL
Evaluation: the novelty of the VNS in the Italian education system
National evaluation system, last call
National guidelines allow for effective evaluation

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[1] For example, in the text by G. Allulli, F. Farinelli and A. Petrolino “The self-assessment of the institute” (published by Guerini and associates in 2013), it is explicitly stated (p. 23): “As for the ignorance of Italian students with the tests performed in the form of tests, it was also an element to reflect as a sign of another typicality not precisely positive and certainly not immutable of our school system, that is, the substantial absence of a precise framework of shared reference standards“.

[2] Interest in self-assessment tools developed in Italy arose, for example, at a recent international conference organized in virtual mode by the review Scuola Democratica in which numerous European countries participated (“Reinventing Education” – 2-3- June 4-5, 2021). ). References: https://www.scuolademocratica-conference.net/.

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