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Stephanie:  I teach students with learning disabilities, and I am a parent af such a child. The state in which I teach has opted to follow the RTI process for determining a need for an evaluation for special education. Is there a faster way to evaluation if a child is extremely low academically and has already been held back? I understand about not over identifying, however it seems like a very long process for a child already two grade levels behind and the thirty year veteran teacher noting a major concern as well. As the special education teacher, I am asked this question often. Usually, it involves a child who has had a medical diagnosis of aspergers, ADHD, or may have speech/language services as well. I do not understand why we need to gather 8 to 10 data points over 16 to 20 weeks in such an instance. Please help clarify. I am in the state of Tennessee if that helps. Thank you in advance!!!

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The federal Dept. of Education has made it clear that RTI cannot interfere with a school’s child find responsibility. It may be that the school & state may be misunderstanding the federal position on this. Your state parent training & information center could assist you with info on TN.