Secondary teachers in Italy are striking today, 13th May. The stoppage follows a 2 day strike last week by primary teachers. In both cases the teachers are protesting against new standardised tests, which follow the usual neo-liberal model: they  will be used to evaluate schools and teachers and pit one against the other.

Last week kindergarten and primary teachers boycotted the tests and many received threats from management, who did their best to cirumvent the boycott by merging classes and bringing in casual labour.

The secondary teachers plan to involve the pupils in the boycott, encouraging them to use 'humour, imagination and inventiveness' against the 'devilishly senseless procedure.'

The so-called INVALSI tests have been heavily criticised by academics as well as by teachers, who say that the testing regime will force teachers to teach to the test and take precious hours away from a rounded education. The unions say that education is being turned into a commodity, as private education corporations invade the classrooms with their testing products. Moreover they say that the testing regime is geared towards training flexible workers rather than the education of future citizens.