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

From Paolo Mazzoli

With the only exception of foreign language teaching, from the beginning of school autonomy until now, neither the state nor the regions have defined for the subjects of their competence real norms of the quality of school service. . When National Indications came out, some commentators questioned the possibility of using National Indications as a quality standard for learning, but it is clear that this is not the case.[1]. A repertoire of quality standards should allow an objective measure of their current achievement, including the methods and conditions under which such a measure should be implemented.

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

If we do not have a reference standard for a service, we could not even theoretically 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.

Starting with the introduction of National Computer-Based Testing (CBT), the analysis of the results of the Invalsi tests has allowed us to define five progressive proficiency levels in Italian and mathematics, which are added to the proficiency levels derived from CEFR for English. . Considering that, as already mentioned, the frame of reference of the Invalsi tests is strictly linked to the objectives set out in the National Indications and Guidelines, we can use the Invalsi levels as a first step in identifying competence standards for two fundamental Disciplines considered. .

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

In fact, the RAV defines qualitative and quantitative indicators that affect both school outcomes and the processes that take place in the school. Think, for example, of the areas inherent in the curriculum, inclusion, continuity, teacher training and interaction with territory and families. These are all aspects that define the quality of school services, although they do not constitute the main objective that remains, to develop adequate learning levels in all students, and which can be assessed thanks to the RAV, albeit in a qualitative way. with the proposed sections.at the end of each section.

But we must not forget that the RAV is a self-assessment tool (although guided) and it is for this reason that the legislature has defined that purpose and National Assessment System (VNS) Procedures provided for the periodic visit of the External evaluation teams (NEV). In this way, an extremely balanced device was built in the design of the 2013 regulation, which was not surprisingly appreciated at an international level as well.[2].

In summary, we can say that the lack of reference standards it should not preclude a reliable evaluation of effectivenessat all levels (national system, schools, individual teachers), because we now not only have national standardized tests of good quality, but also because, thanks to the RAV, the results of the tests, together with a large number of indicators and descriptors of the result and the process, are incorporated in the context of each school and can therefore go from the simple comparison of quantitative data to an appropriate interpretation, which allows to formulate a sufficiently accurate description of each school and, more importantly, the elaboration of the Improvement paths are firmly anchored to specific times and goals

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

The point on the evaluation of schools in Italy. The SPECIAL of Tuttoscuola
Evaluation: The novelty of the VNS in the Italian school 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 co-workers in 2013), it is explicitly stated (p. 23): “As for the unfamiliarity of the Italian students with the tests in the form of tests, it was also an element to reflect as a sign of another not very positive and certainly not unchangeable typical of our school system, namely the substantial lack of a precise. Framework of common standards of reference“.

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

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