The widespread adoption of school autonomy with accountability reforms in education has generated debate regarding the relationship between autonomy, innovation and accountability. While at the policy design level, these three elements are highly related, several authors highlight the contradictions among them. By analyzing key documents and interviews, this paper aims to identify the program ontology behind the current Italian National Evaluation System (SNV), with a focus on the way in which autonomy, accountability and innovation have been conceptualized and linked together. The paper also aims to explore whether pitfalls and/or tensions exist that might hamper the achievement of the SNV goals. The findings highlight the peculiarities of the Italian autonomy with accountability system, which has resulted from the involvement of different stakeholders in the design and implementation of the reforms. The findings also reveal contradictions regarding some of its premises. Various rationales (improvement, efficiency, equity and transparency) emerge that seem to have acted as drivers of the reforms, however, the influence of globalizing discourses on international competition and the benefits of datafication also appears significant. A number of contextual aspects are finally considered which hamper the expected change mechanisms, highlighting the discontinuous ground in which such policy dispositifs operate.
Research has shown that in many contexts, the transformation of the public sector associated with new public management (NPM) reforms and performance-based accountability (PBA) has had profound implications for public sector workers' practices, identities and emotional experiences. Focusing on the education sector, in this paper we aim to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between PBA policies and teachers’ emotions by conducting a scoping review of the scientific literature. Our review, which is based on a final sample of 63 articles published between the years 2000-2021 obtained from the SCOPUS database, identifies two main bodies of research. The first deals with an examination of teachers’ emotions and shows how PBA is a crucial part of a changing professional environment that accentuates and/or modifies feelings and emotions already inherent to the teaching profession. The focal point of the second strand of research is the effect of PBA on teachers’ emotions; here, we identify research exploring the emotional effects of PBA, as well as the mechanisms behind different emotional experiences, how teachers deal with emotions emerging from PBA policies and a number of factors that intensify or weaken the emotional impact of PBA. On the basis of our review, limitations of existing research and gaps in the understanding of the relationship between PBA and teachers’ emotions are identified and promising lines of future research formulated