Perspectives of Special Education Directors on Response to Intervention in Secondary Schools

By Sansosti, Frank J.; Goss, Shannon et al. | Contemporary School Psychology, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Perspectives of Special Education Directors on Response to Intervention in Secondary Schools


Sansosti, Frank J., Goss, Shannon, Noltemeyer, Amity, Contemporary School Psychology


Despite intensified interest in secondary school applications of Response-to-intervention (RtI), research in this area remains sparse. This study utilized a qualitative focus group methodology to explore special education directors' perceptions of current barriers, facilitators, roles, and practices related to RtI implementation in secondary settings. Based on their unique potential to affect change and promote collaboration between general and special educators, special education directors were selected as participants. Across two focus groups, four themes emerged: systems structures, roles and attitudes, evidence-based practices, and training and professional development needs. Each theme is explored in depth, followed by practical implications, limitations, and recommendations for practice. Although numerous barriers emerged, they should be viewed not as limitations to RtI in secondary schools but rather as serving to identify the systemic factors needed to support the complexity of an RtI initiative beyond the elementary school years.

KEYWORDS: Response to Intervention, Educational Reform, Special Education, Alternative Service Delivery

To achieve the stated goals of both the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2001) and the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA, 2004), Response to Intervention (RtI), a service delivery approach for providing services and interventions to students at increasing levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analysis (Batsche, Elliott et al., 2006), has been endorsed by educational professionals and policymakers. Moreover, RtI has been recognized as a framework that can address the academic and behavioral needs of all students, with the goal of achieving positive student outcomes within lessrestrictive environments (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998). Generally, RtI methodologies encompass high-quality, research-based classroom instruction; continuous and frequent progress monitoring; implementation of research-based academic and behavioral interventions at multiple levels; and assessment of intervention integrity (Batsche, Elliott et al., 2006).

At its inception, RtI was designed to address the academic difficulties of children suspected of having high-incidence disabilities, namely a specific learning disability, within primary grades (Bender & Shores, 2007; Mellard, Byrd, Johnson, Tollefson, & Boesche, 2004; Vaughn & Fuchs, 2003) and typically in the area of reading (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006; Marston, 2005). More recently, practitioners have broadened the scope of RtI to include systemic approaches for the identification of and the development of interventions for behavioral difficulties (Malecki & Demaray, 2007; Sandomeirski, Kincaid, & Algozzine, 2007). From this perspective, RtI implementation serves all students, with the goal of achieving positive academic and behavioral outcomes through prevention, early identification, and intervention matched to their specific needs.

Given that extant RtI practices largely have been applied within primary grades and typically in the area of reading, there is a growing interest among educational professionals and researchers about the degree to which RtI can be used in secondary settings. Batsche, Kavale, and Kovaleski (2006) contend that RtI can be applied to all grades, as long as there is the presence of (a) clear performance expectations and (b) methods to measure positive changes within these expectations. As school districts across the country consider the ways in which RtI can enhance student learning in a secondary setting, it is essential to view RtI as an educational change initiative rather than as an educational program or curriculum that is in vogue. Such a perspective necessitates that schools foster a structure that builds the capacity of the educational professionals and the system in which they work to sustain effective practices (Schaughency & Ervin, 2006). This concept of building capacity is not new to education, as similar change initiatives, such as Positive Behavior Support, have demonstrated that common features of successful implementation include (a) staff buy-in, (b) shared vision for change, (c) professional development/ongoing technical assistance, (d) organizational restructuring, and (e) committed administrative leadership (George, White, & Schlaffer, 2007; Kincaid, Childs, Blaise, & Wallace, 2007). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Perspectives of Special Education Directors on Response to Intervention in Secondary Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.