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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2020017 What Tools Have States Developed or Adapted to Assess Schools’ Implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports/Response to Intervention Framework?
Educators in Tennessee use Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2), a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), to help address problems early for students at risk for poor learning outcomes. Tennessee Department of Education officials sought to support schools and districts implementing RTI2 with a tool that educators can use to align their RTI2 implementation with the state’s expected practices and determine next steps for improving implementation. To support the development of a research-informed tool, Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia staff reviewed the websites and relevant documents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as interviewed state education officials from eight states to examine how others have adapted or developed similar tools and supported their use. The study focused on 31 tools that 21 states developed or adapted to measure MTSS/response to intervention (RTI) implementation. Methods included assessing tools for key MTSS/RTI practices that are informed by the research literature and coding qualitative data to identify themes. Findings showed that although most tools assessed broad MTSS/RTI practices, such as whether schools administer assessments for students in need of intervention, fewer tools measured more specific practices such as whether schools are expected to administer universal screenings twice a year. Report findings can serve as a useful resource for state education officials interested in selecting or adapting a tool to measure and improve MTSS/RTI implementation, which can ultimately provide educators with data to inform their instruction and enhance learning outcomes for students at risk.
REL 2017192 Measuring Implementation of the Response to Intervention framework in Milwaukee Public Schools
The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability of a newly-developed hybrid system to measure the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI), to determine schools' progress toward implementing RTI; and to determine whether implementation ratings were related to contextual factors. School improvement coaches were trained and certified to conduct school data reviews. These reviewers visited 70 elementary schools serving grades K-5 in a single urban school district. During each visit, two reviewers made ratings on the 34-indicator rubric and entered their ratings into a dashboard system. Reviewers reconciled discrepant ratings and the reconciled ratings were analyzed. To determine the reliability of the rubric, the study team estimated inter-rater reliability using percent agreement and Cohen's Kappa to account for chance ratings. Coefficient alphas were calculated to estimate inter-item reliability. To determine how well schools were implementing RTI, average ratings were calculated for each school on the total rubric and six components and converted into categories: "little fidelity", "inadequate fidelity", "adequate fidelity", and "full fidelity". The study team also calculated Pearson product-moment correlations to study relationships between implementation ratings and characteristics of teachers and students in the schools. Results indicated that the ratings made by the trained data reviewers were reliable even when accounting for chance. Among the 68 visited schools that had complete data, 53 percent of the schools were implementing RTI with adequate fidelity after two years. However, 68 percent of the priority schools did not reach adequate levels of implementation fidelity. Findings also revealed that most schools have yet to implement instruction for diverse students and Tier III instruction with fidelity. Of the contextual factors studied, correlations were found between implementation scores and teacher and student characteristics. The system can be used to produce reliable evidence about the level of RTI implementation in schools and which components of RTI need to be the focus of professional development and coaching. Also, if RTI is indeed an effective school improvement strategy, then by monitoring implementation fidelity of RTI, school districts can improve the chances that RTI produces the expected impacts in their school settings. Establishing an implementation monitoring system requires district staff time to complete training, conduct the data reviews, resolve rating discrepancies, and enter the data into a dashboard system.
NCEE 20164000 Evaluation of Response to Intervention Practices for Elementary School Reading
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a framework for collecting and using data to match students to interventions of varying intensity. This study examines the implementation of RtI in Grade 1–3 reading in 13 states during the 2011–12 school year, focusing on 146 schools that were experienced with RtI. Full implementation of the RtI framework in Grade 1–3 reading was reported by 86 percent of the experienced schools. Fifty-five percent of these schools focused reading intervention services on Grade 1 students reading below grade level, while 45 percent of the schools also provided reading intervention services for Grade 1 students reading at or above grade level. Students who scored just below school-determined benchmarks on fall screening tests, and who were assigned to interventions for struggling readers, had lower spring reading scores in Grade 1 than students just above the threshold for intervention. In Grades 2 and 3, there were no statistically significant impacts of interventions for struggling readers on the spring reading scores of students just below the threshold for intervention.
NCEE 20144000 National Evaluation of the IDEA Technical Assistance & Dissemination Program
This report examines (1) the primary technical assistance activities carried out by the Technical Assistance & Dissemination Program national centers, (2) states’ needs for technical assistance and the extent to which these needs are addressed by TA&D centers or other sources, and (3) within specific areas of special education, the extent to which states are satisfied with the products and services received from TA&D Program centers. The report is based on data collected from 27 national TA&D Centers, 51 Part C Early Intervention Coordinators administering IDEA Part C infant/toddler programs, and 51 Part B Special Education Directors. An additional 805 surveys, focused on needs for and receipt of technical assistance within specific areas of special education, were also completed by state staff.
REL 20124007 An Evaluation of Number Rockets: A Tier-2 Intervention for Grade 1Students at Risk for Difficulties in Mathematics
The 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) approved schools’ use of alternative methods for determining student eligibility for special education services. IDEA encourages schools to intervene as soon as there is a valid indication that a student might experience academic difficulties, rather than after performance falls well below grade-level. The Response to Intervention (RtI) framework is an approach for providing instructional support to students at risk for these difficulties.
NCEE 20114026 National Assessment of IDEA Overview IDEA National Assessment Implementation Study Executive Summary and Report

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reauthorized in 2004, supports states in the provision of early intervention and special education and related services for 7 million children and youth with disabilities. In fiscal year 2010, federal funding for IDEA was $12.6 billion.

The congressionally mandated study provides a national picture of state agency implementation of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers (IDEA Part C) and both state and school district implementation of special education programs for preschool- and school-age children (IDEA Part B). The study is based on surveys of state agency directors and a nationally representative sample of district special education directors conducted in 2009. The key findings include:

  • State Part C agencies support the transition of toddlers with disabilities to Part B preschool-age special education programs, but Part C has not expanded to serve children until kindergarten. At age 3, toddlers receiving Part C services transition to Part B services (if eligible), typically involving a change in lead agency (in 46 states) and often a change in support staff, service settings, and services.
  • Most school districts (85 percent) do not use IDEA Part B funds to provide Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS). IDEA 2004 permits, and in some cases requires, school districts to use some of their Part B funds to provide CEIS, services for students not yet identified as needing special education. These services are meant to address the overrepresentation of racial/ethnic minority students in special education.
  • Most school districts implement Response to Intervention (RtI), use RtI data when determining specific learning disability (SLD) eligibility, and support RtI with district general funds. RtI, a range of practices for monitoring student academic and behavioral progress and providing targeted interventions, was added to IDEA in 2004 as a way to inform the determination of SLD and implement CEIS.
REL 2009083 Features of State Response to Intervention Initiatives in Northeast and Islands Region States
The report documents the results of a search of state education agency web sites in the nine Northeast and Islands Region jurisdictions for publicly available information related to RTI (response to intervention). It finds that seven jurisdictions have developed state documents on RTI that address core features of RTI identified by the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities: high quality classroom instruction, research-based instruction, classroom performance, universal screening, continuous progress monitoring, research-based interventions, progress monitoring during interventions, and fidelity measures. Six of these jurisdictions had documents addressing all eight core features (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont), and one (Rhode Island) had documents addressing seven. Documents are also categorized by theme: whether the state education agency required RTI as a component of the special education eligibility process, whether the state education agency used or encouraged a three-tiered RTI model, whether a self-assessment or local plan was required before implementing RTI at the local level, and whether the state education agency supported or funded RTI pilot sites. The seven jurisdictions used or promoted RTI as an approach to supporting struggling students in general education or for determining eligibility for special education at the local level. The most commonly found document types were nonregulatory guidance (six states), followed by regulations (four states). The document review could not shed light on the extent of RTI use at the local level. While there was no evidence of RTI policies or procedures on the public state education agency web sites for two jurisdictions (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), that cannot be taken as evidence that the two jurisdictions do not allow RTI.
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