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Could "Checklists" Improve Academic Outcomes -- Or Do We Already Have Them?

There is a fascinating (if lengthy) article in last week's New Yorker (December 10) that  071210_r16884_p465basically points out that -- whether you're flying jets or working in an ICU -- expertise and specialization eventually fall apart when faced with incredibly complex tasks and tight time constraints; however, a surprisingly simple thing like a checklist of key steps can produce remarkably improvements in outcomes -- fewer crashed planes and dead patients -- if only practitioners and supervisors weren't so resistant to using them because they watch "House" and "ER" too much.   Of course, this makes me wonder whether checklists like this have already been developed and implemented in schools or areas, and whether they've worked or not.  It seems hard to imagine that they haven't already been put into use, but then again you so often hear about kids who's problems have gone unnoticed for so long or who have slipped through the cracks.  This is classroom stuff about which I know so very little, so I'm counting on someone to make me smart.  While you're at it, what's "RTI" and how does it work?


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