Friday, May 31, 2013

Response to Intervention

Elliot, Judy. (2008). Response to Intervention: What & Why?. School Administrator, 65.8, 10-12.

Elliot defines RTI as “the practice of providing hig-quality instruction and intervention matched to student need, monitoring rogress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals and applying student response data to important education decisions.” Elliot asserts the there is a need for every student in the education system to have their learning needs met to ensure future success. Elliot suggests that RTI requires culture to acknowledge and understand all students can learn, resources must be aligned to facilitate student growth, and “appreciation and continual use of data in making instructional and programmatic changes.” Elliot states RTI is researched based and in order to be successful, educators must understand all children can learn, intervention should be implemented early, RTI is a multitiered model for instruction, and problem-solving methods should be used to make decisions within the multitiered model. Elliot defines the three tiers as follows: tier 1 – all students; tier 2 –target instruction; and tier 3 – intensive instruction.

Mesmer, Eric M.; and Mesmer, Heidi. (2008). Response to Intervention (RTI): What Teachers of Reading Need to Know. Reading Teacher, 62.4, 280-290.

Mesmer and Mesmer give a history of RTI and explain the laws surrounding RTI. Mesmer and Mesmer suggest that the RTI process should be implemented in 5 steps. In step 1, Mesmer and Mesmer suggest establishing universal literacy practices. In step 2, Mesmer and Mesmer suggest that educators should implement “scientifically valid interventions” (283). In step 3, Mesmer and Mesmer suggest educators should monitor the progress of students receiving interventions. In step 4, Mesmer and Mesmer suggest that educators come up with individualized interventions for their students that are still struggling. And in step 5, Mesmer and Mesmer suggest that a team try to determine the need for special education services for students who continue to struggle. The authors explain that RTI is designed to benefit the students by incorporating assessment and interventions. The authors are concerned about the requirement of RTI being implemented by using scientifically based instruction. Mesmer and Mesmer argue that many companies may label products as scientifically based because an experiment was done on the product. Therefore, it may be difficult for educators to find beneficial products and programs.

Reutebuch, Colleen K. (2008). Succeed With a Response-to-Intervention Model. Intervention in School & Clinic, 44.2, 126-128.

Colleen K. Reutebuch is a professor and research associate at Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. Reutebuch defines Response to Intervention as a framework in which high-quality instruction and intervention is matched to the needs of the students. Reutebuch continues that RTI includes progress monitoring and assess-ment in order to make educational decisions on the students, as well as improving the outcomes of students in both special and general education. Reutebuch explains the guidelines set up by the federal government are a framework in which states and local school districts can develop their own appropriate model. These guidelines include: implementation of research-based instruction, early intervention, multi-tiered intervention, individual problem-solving protocol, fidelity checks and consistency, identifying at-risk students, differentiated instruction, frequent assessments, multi-disciplinary teams to determine special education needs, professional development, follow-up support, grouping formats, collaboration of personnel, determining instructors at various tiers, setting short-term goals, developing an entry and exit plan, culturally responsive practices, implementation of constant support, family involvement, and an understanding of RTI and student achievement. Reutebuch guides the audience through each of the guidelines and explicitly explains how the guidelines should be implemented.

Samuels, Christina A. (2009). High Schools Try Out RTI. Education Week, 28.19, 20-22.

Samuels’ article focuses on the lack of research on the implementation of a RTI model a secondary level, which is also addressed in the Elliot article. Samuels uses high schools in Colorado to show how RTI is being implemented and to outline the difficulties in implementing RTI at the secondary level. Samuels uses Palmer High School in Colorado as a model of effective implementation of RTI. The teachers at the school have pooled their resources so that each department could develop programs to address the needs of struggling students. These programs were organized into “tiers of increasing intensity, while adding other types of interventions for students.” The school also opened a tutoring center in which the students who are struggling can go to after instruction in the inclusive classrooms is given. The teachers monitored their low performing students to see if the programs resulted in higher grades. The educators found that students who used the programs were more successful than students who did not. Samuels’ article does not address the fact that many students with disabilities lack the self-determination skills needed in order to evaluate whether or not they need to go to tutoring.

Tilly, David. (2008). Questions to Guide RTI’s Use. Educational Leadership, 64.8, 22-23.

Tilly’s article defines Response to Intervention as a “framework for organizing instruction in schools using research-validated procedures and decision-making structures.” In Tilly’s district, Heartland Area Education Agency 11 in Iowa Tilly states RTI has been implemented for eighteen years. Tilly states that consensus must be built in order for RTI to be effective by providing information and allowing educators to question and challenge information as well as involving staff when the principles of teaching and learning are discussed. Tilly suggests that false notions, such as the need to know students’ IQs, that students’ learning can be accelerated by placing them in special education, and the disability label determines the instruction for the students. Therefore, Tilly suggests teachers undergo professional development in order to debunk these issues. Tilly suggests using current practices to build on for the RTI infrastructure by establishing a leadership team who identifies modifications to be implemented to current practices without holding on to existing regularities. Tilly further suggests that implementation be reviewed and refined often in order to ensure effectiveness and maintain long-term student learning.

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