The Long March Towards School and Student Assessment in Italy
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The assessment culture has had considerable difficulty in permeating the Italian school system, and the themes of school evaluation have entered the Italian political agenda only in the last 15 years, although the Italian participation in international student assessments such as PISA, TIMSS and PIRSL has always been significant. A common denominator of the results obtained by these international surveys concerns the fairness, in territorial terms, of the Italian school system. A deeper analysis of IEA and OECD data, confirmed also by the Italian National System of Evaluation (SNV), emphasizes the presence of a skill gap between students from central-northern regions (more developed) and those from southern regions (less developed). The literacy divide is the real challenge for Italian policy makers, but its solution seems to be very far, although in the last years, an ambitious set of reforms regarding the educational system (The Good School Act, Law 107/15) and the labour market (The Industry 4.0 National Plan and Jobs Act) has been launched. These policies aimed to improve the competences of Italian students and to strengthen the linkages between the education system and the world of work, but their results will only be assessed in the long term.
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