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Response to Intervention

RtI is an individualized, comprehensive assessment and intervention process, utilizing a problem-solving framework to identify and address student academic difficulties using effective, efficient, research-based instruction. The RtI process is a multi-step approach to providing services and interventions to students who struggle with learning at increasing levels of intensity. The progress students make at each stage of intervention is closely monitored. Results of this monitoring are used to make decisions about the need for further research-based instruction and/or intervention in general education, in special education or both. NEA supports the concept of early intervening services (EIS) and RtI, i.e., providing supports for students as soon as they need them. NEA argued throughout Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s reauthorization that additional funds should be available to implement EIS & RtI. NEA feels a carve-out of IDEA funds dilutes already scarce funds.

Why RtI

A growing body of research suggests that the “ability-achievement discrepancy” method of identifying students as eligible for special education services requires students to fail or fall behind for a substantial period of time before they are eligible for help. This requirement for an “accumulation of failure” acts as a barrier to early help. The RtI process has the potential to limit the amount of academic failure that any student experiences and to increase the accuracy of special education evaluations. It is designed to reduce the number of children who are mistakenly identified as having learning disabilities when their learning problems are actually due to cultural differences or lack of adequate instruction. Information and data gathered by an RtI process can lead to earlier identification of children who have true disabilities and are in need of special education services. Read More

How RtI Is Used to Identify a Student as Having LD

In an RtI process, students who show signs of learning difficulties are provided with a series of increasingly intensive, individualized interventions. These interventions are designed and delivered by general education staff in collaboration with other experts such as special educators and school psychologists and are based on reliable research. The intervention process includes systematic monitoring of the student’s progress. Students who do not show improvement, or a “response,” to this series of interventions are considered to be learning disabled and in need of special education services in order to receive educational benefit from instruction. Read More

Response to Intervention applies to both Academic Issues and Behavioral Issues. A standard illustration of RtI is a pyramid format.

George Sugai, Ph.D is the Professor & Carole J. Neag Endowed Chair in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Sugai prefers a continuum model instead of the standard pyramid model, which provides specific barriers between levels of intervention (see below). The slide presentation is available for your perusal at the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports website.

A Clearinghouse of RtI Information:

Jim Wright, a school psychologist from central New York, created a website called Intervention Central. This site offers free tools and resources to help school staff and parents to promote positive classroom behaviors and foster effective learning for all children and youth. The site was created by.

The site offers links to help teachers

  1. Understand the Model
  2. Use Teams to Problem-Solve
  3. Select the Right Intervention
  4. Monitor Student Progress
  5. Graph Data for Visual Analysis

Mr. Wright’s site is a good tool for teachers who want to begin implementing Response to Intervention in their building. Read More

TSTA Action on Response to Intervention

TSTA attended National Center on RtI Summit in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, Texas was represented by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Association of School Administrators, the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association and the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. After two-and-a-half days of discussion, the group completed an initial draft of TEA RtI suggestions.

That draft can be found on the Teaching and Learning page of the TSTA website. The final version of the website will be interactive and will provide numerous suggestions for successful interventions. The next meeting will take place at the Texas Education Agency during the month of January.

What Are Other States Doing in Relation to RTI?

The National Center on Response to Intervention has a new RTI State Database at http://state.rti4success.org. NEA is an active partner of the Center. This new website section provides resources on a number of topics related to response to intervention. The resources, which range from policy documents and briefs to trainings and tools, were developed by states, districts, or territories in the U.S. They are available in an easy-to-use database that allows the user to conduct a number of different searches.