Note: We have a YouTube video about RTI. For that and other Wrightslaw YouTube videos, go to the "Wrightslaw YouTube Channel" at: www.youtube.com/user/wrightslaw. To see the RTI YouTube video, click on the link below and go "Full Screen."
When Congress reauthorized IDEA, they changed
the law about identifying children with specific learning disabilities. Schools
will not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe
discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability ..." (Section 1414(b))
Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 97)
What is Response
to Intervention (RTI) ? How will these new practices affect struggling children who
have not yet been identified with specific learning disabilities? How will this
affect the millions of children who have been identified with specific learning
disabilities and who are receiving special education services?
is in the details. The success of Response
to Intervention (RTI) will depend on whether it is appropriately implemented
by highly-trained professionals - and this is likely to be a problem.
To answer your questions about RTI, we collected articles and free publications from a variety
of sources. We found that some experts endorse RTI, while others are less enthusiastic.
We encourage you to study these issues. This page includes articles, free
publications, and recommended websites.
& Free Pubs About Response to Intervention (RTI)
A Parent Guide to RTI was created by Susan Bruce, a fierce advocate for students, who has trained over 5000 parents, attorneys and advocates on virtually any topic that has to do with special education and civil rights law. The Guide explains the RTI process and what IDEA requires, parent concerns and important questions about RTI, and what RTI means for our kids. Pdf format
OSEP Memorandum - RTI process cannot be used to delay-deny an evaluation for eligibility under IDEA. Office of Special Education Programs to State Directors of Special Education, 01/21/11.
Approaches to the Definition and Identification of Learning Disabilities:
Some Questions and Answers. Fletcher, Jack M., W. Alan Coulter,
Daniel J. Reschly & Sharon Vaughn. Published in Annals
To ensure adequate instruction for students with LD, identification must
focus on assessments that are directly related to instruction. Services for struggling
students must focus on intervention, not eligibility. Special education needs
to focus on results and outcomes, not eligibility and process. Identification
models that include RTI will lead to better achievement and behavior outcomes
for students with LD and those at risk for LD.
to Intervention: A Blueprint for Practitioners, Policymakers, and Parents
in Teaching Exceptional Children. Fuchs,
Douglas, Lynn S. Fuchs. (2001)
Describes a "three-tier" system (beginning in general education and
ending in special education) that serves the early intervention and disability
identification objectives of RBI. The focus is on standard tutoring protocols,
not "problem solving model," because available scientific research supports
Discrepancy Formula-How the Aptitude-Achievement Formula Keeps Educators from
Doing Their Jobs. Horowitz,
Sheldon H. (1999) (Adapted from a presentation by Dr. Horowitz at the 49th
Annual Conference of The International Dyslexia Association.)
standard that opens the gates to remedial and support services in schools, the
'discrepancy formula,' has undermined the ability of teachers to provide timely
and effective assistance for students with learning disabilities. It virtually
requires that students 'crash and burn' academically before they can gain access
to special education services and it reinforces failure, ultimately making remediation
much more difficult." (pdf format, p. 72)
Three-Tier Response to Intervention (RTI) Model. LDOnline
Article describes a Three-Tier RTI Model as an alternative to the Discrepancy
Model (the "Wait to Fail Model"). This article describes a three-tier
reading model that monitors student progress with different levels of intervention
Learning Disabilities. Lyon, G. R., Fletcher, J. M., Shaywitz, S. E., Shaywitz, B. A., Torgesen, J. K.,
Wood, F. B., et al. (2001). Washington, DC: Thomas Fordham Foundation.
Describes reasons to reject the IQ-achievement discrepancy models. Discrepancy
models delay classification until the child is in 3rd or 4th grade when academic
achievement problems are more difficult to resolve. The IQ-achievement discrepancy
is not related to decisions about intervention methods, goals, or results. Read
Warning System. Lyon,
G. Reid Lyon and Jack Fletcher. (2001)
The authors describe three factors that led to a dramatic increase in children
identified with LD. (1) Remediation is rarely effective after 2nd grade. (2) Measurement
practices work against identifying LD children before 2nd grade. (3) Federal policy
and the sociology of public education allow ineffective policies to continue.
The authors make a case for implementing effective early intervention programs.
Responsiveness to Intervention in Learning Disabilities Determination. Mellard,
Daryl and the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities.
Excellent article describes core features of RTI including the use of assessment
to match students with appropriate instruction. Other core features are high quality
classroom instruction, research based instruction, classroom performance, universal
screening of academics and behavior, continuous progress monitoring, research
based interventions, progress monitoring during interventions, and fidelity measures
(that the intervention was implemented as intended and with consistency). Since
several versions of RTI have been implemented, this article describes common attributes
including tiers of increasingly intense student interventions; differentiated
curriculum; variations in duration, frequency, and time of interventions; placement
New!A Parent’s Guide to Response to Intervention. (October 2011) National Center for Learning Disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) includes a provision that allows states and school districts to use high quality, research-based instruction in general and special education to provide services and interventions to students who may be at risk of or suspected of having learning disabilities. This guide describes the RTI process and answers questions parents and teachers may have about it.
to Intervention & Learning Disabilities. National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. (2005)
Examines concepts, potential benefits, practical issues, and questions about
responsiveness to intervention (RTI) and learning disabilities (LD). Includes
questions about implementation, eligibility, parent participation, structure and
components, professional roles and competencies, and needed research.
Demise of IQ Testing for Children with Learning Disabilities. Pasternak,
In describing the fallacies of the IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model,
the author explains that this is not a valid way to identify individuals with
LD. He reports that eliminating IQ tests may shift the emphasis away from eligibility
and toward interventions that children need.
to Intervention Models, Identify, Evaluate & Scale. National Research Center on Learning Disabilities. (2003)
Describes core characteristics of Response to Intervention models: student-centered
assessment and intervention models that identify and address student difficulties
and use effective instruction, leading to improved achievement.
The RTI Hurdle. RTI and an educational evaluation to determine eligibility for special education run concurrently. They are two different trains running on two different tracks at the same time.
Stuck in RTI Purgatory. "The school would not do a multi-factored evaluation for my son who has dyslexia. We are trapped in RTI. Is there anything we can do?" Your assumption that there "is no legality on our side" is incorrect. The law was not intended to allow schools to avoid evaluating kids or keep kids in RTI over a long period of time.
National Center on Response to Intervention. The American Institutes for Research and researchers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Kansas -- through funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) -- have established the National Center on response to intervention. The Center’s mission is to provide technical assistance to states and districts and building the capacity of states to assist districts in implementing proven models for RTI/EIS.
RTI State Database from the National Center on Response to Intervention. The Database provides a snapshot comparison of how states are implementing RTI and materials they have produced to assist school districts in the process.
RTI Responder - Free newsletter published monthly from the National Center for RTI Response to Intervention.
National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD)
- Responsiveness to intervention (RTI) has gained momentum as a means of determining
learning disabilities in school-age students. NRCLD has undertaken a number of
activities examining RTI best practices and offer the results on their website.
Center for Learning Disabilities - provides information to parents, professionals
and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to
foster effective learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen
educational rights and opportunities.
RTI Action Network. This website features informational resources as well as opportunities to interact with top researchers, experienced implementers, and colleagues. Content addresses implementation of RTI from preschool to secondary, with information for administrators, teachers, specialists, and families.
Reading Panel - The National Reading Panel published their findings on research
based reading in two reports and a video, "Teaching
Children to Read." They also identified effective instructional strategies
for teaching students with reading difficulties. URL:
Reading Rockets - a national
multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn
to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.