Academic journal article Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin

Response to Intervention (RtI) and Tier Systems: Questions Remain as Educators Make Challenging Decisions

Academic journal article Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin

Response to Intervention (RtI) and Tier Systems: Questions Remain as Educators Make Challenging Decisions

Article excerpt

As many educational agencies in the United States (US) move quickly toward full implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) systems, teachers, and schools are asked to show systematic, consistent application of evidence-based practice in academics in more comprehensive and quantifiable ways. These systems, often called Tiered Systems, have implications for requirements of two federal government mandates, the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). As tier systems and RtI become widely incorporated into everyday classroom practices, general education teachers are making decisions regarding interventions. In addition, special educators are moving far beyond their traditional role in educational remediation for students with disabilities and are now called upon to assist the classroom teacher with a plethora of activities. However, questions about these initiatives remain, particularly as pertains to teacher training in RtI and Tiers, the rigor of interventions, the use of commercial materials, and communication among stakeholders.

Introduction

Classroom teachers are required to identify and implement empirically-based, student-specific instructional interventions with increasing levels of precision and at higher levels of accountability than ever before (Gersten & Hitchcock, 2008). In the US, many state educational agencies are moving quickly to mandate full implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) systems. Within these mandated systems, teachers and schools must show systematic, consistent, comprehensive applications of evidence-based practice in academics in more comprehensive and quantifiable ways (Case, Speece, & Molloy, 2003). These systems, often expressed as Tiered Systems, have implications for requirements of both the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004), both of which have far-reaching implications for the policies and practices of schools in the US (O'Connor, Harty, & Fulmer, 2005). In fact, four states (Indiana, Iowa, Connecticut and Colorado) are relying exclusively on studentspecific data generated during interventions in the tier system in the referral process for special education services for students with specific learning disabilities (National Center on Response to Intervention, 2009). Further, as more and more students with disabilities are served in general education settings as opposed to separate, special education classrooms, special educators are finding their roles shifting to a more consultative role, supporting students within the general education setting as opposed to providing pull-out services to these students. While challenging, this changing role has the potential to meet the early intervening needs of children struggling academically who may need more intensive services as intended by the tier system, yet do not require special education services as would have been more traditionally defined. These dramatically changing processes and roles have promise, but questions remain regarding how best to ensure all teachers have the appropriate training and support to meet the rigorous requirements of these tier systems.

Response to Intervention (RtI) and Tier Systems

A burgeoning body of literature focuses on analyses of various models of RtI, particularly the implementation of these approaches in classrooms and the ways in which current practices associated with RtI impact student outcomes of children both with and without disabilities (Burns & Ysseldyke, 2005; Burns & Senesac, 2005; Fuchs, Fuchs, & Vaughn, 2008). While there are many ways that RtI systems are implemented across educational agencies, the underlying premise of RtI is that that children performing below the accepted levels should have access to intense and individualized academic intervention (International Reading Association [IRA], 2008). According to Hoover and Patton (2008), most RtI models are comprised of three or four tiers in which evidence-based interventions are provided to students based on their responses to said interventions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.