Performance Management in the Italian public schools: an empirical analysis
School autonomy and evaluation issues, promoted by the recent reform processes, increased the interest of public schools in the accountability purposes aimed at making them accountable for greater decision making powers they received. These changes, affecting both their performance approaches, typically centered on students’ learning and achievement measures, referable to School Effectiveness and Improvement studies, and the related School Accountability (SA) processes, are driving public schools towards the performance measurement, management and accountability perspectives applied in the other public organizations. In this framework, in Italy, the D.Lgs. 150/2009 (as modified by the D.Lgs. 74/2017) represents another relevant driver since it imposes public organizations, including public schools, the adoption of the “Performance Management Cycle” (PMC). This cycle provides, to assure a complete accountability about performance, the publication of the “Performance Plan” (PP) and the “Performance Report” (PR).
The study presents an exploratory analysis, referred to the years 2011-2016, about the adoption and the compliance level of PPs and PRs produced by a sample of 2,000 public schools with the requests of the D.Lgs. 150/2009 and the related CIVIT Resolutions.
Results show a modest level of adoption of the PMC (5.6% of the sample) and very low compliance levels of the contents included in the PPs and in the PRs.
Keywords: Performance Management, Italian Public Schools Accountability, Performance Plan, Performance Report