The Invalsi tests: the absurdity of measuring learning in time from Covid

twelve o’clock, March 6, 2021 – 21:35

While the students’ stories tell what they have really lost in recent months

of Giancarlo Visitilli

Francesca says that on days when it was cold, being at school was pleasant: there were radiators in the classroom. Third grade, in a school on the outskirts of Bari, she lives with her mother in a house of 40 square meters, the radiators are there, but we don’t turn them on: mom can’t pay. Francesca’s mother works as a caregiver and alternates the afternoons doing cleaning. I prefer to go to school – explains Francesca – because in the room where I have the computer that the school gave me I eat and sleep and I don’t want my friends to think I’m different from them. When in Dad, Francesca explained that Meet’s background changes: I put the sea, as if to believe I am in the Maldives. But the computer screen. If I graduate and grow up, one day I can go to the beach like this !.


And then there is Andrea, second year in an institute in Taranto, he recently lost his father between Covid and Ilva I don’t know who killed him first – he says restlessly – I just know that I no longer trust anything. Staying at home in this time, forced to go to school a delirium, with my mother who can not stand anything. He loved my father, I am the only child. If I continue to go to school now, I will only do it for promising him. But he won’t want to end up with him. I have to get away from this place of m ….. Andrea shows me his vinyls, he started collecting them because his father loved rock. The one that now sounds inside him. And he makes a deafening noise, against his mother, who, throughout the meeting, looks at us impassively. Even the silence of her rock.

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Alessia, on the other hand, attends the fifth grade. He has six brothers, in a house of 80 square meters, he lives with his maternal grandfather, on dialysis. He says that when I connect from here a mess: space is limited and we have two computers, we compete to see who has to use it, because staying on the mobile phone to give lessons goes crazy. Also, there is the grandfather that when the nurse comes to clean his blood, I can’t show my class. Do you know how many times I went to the bathroom with the computer, so as not to show ?.

Those simple sentences

Francesca, Andrea and Alessia are among the thousands of students who, in the midst of one of the Covid waves, of which we have almost lost count, does not seem true, but will have to take the Invalsi tests. The much-discussed tests of the National System for the Evaluation of the Education System. National standard tests for the detection of learning, administered in the second and fifth elementary, third grade, second and upper fifths. For the Ministry of Education, the tests are used to assess the level of preparation of the pupils. Not taking into account the days that did not go to school for the various ordinances. Or that the face-to-face school has (or should have) another evaluation system. I tried to imagine that Francesca, Andrea and Alessia, among the various crosses in the tests, wrote simple sentences: do you know the cold ?, I have a dead father, my grandfather’s blood is washed. Who knows if this would interest those who value what we have really lost.

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March 6, 2021 | 21:35

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