TitleA case study of the use of response to intervention in a public school district
NameDavidoff, Linda J. (author), Vitello, Stanley J (chair), Boyle, Joseph R (internal member), Lugg, Catherine A (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
Learning disabled children--Identification,
Response to intervention (Learning disabled children)--United States--Case studies,
Special education--United States--Case studies,
United States.--Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
DescriptionThe educational community has raised several concerns regarding the identification of students with disabilities. Growing numbers of students classified in the Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) category have prompted much discussion. Available research on SLD classification raises issues regarding the traditional ability/achievement discrepancy model of identification as well as disproportional minority membership in special education. Operational suggestions for remediation of these problems are lacking. With the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA the law now allows the use of Response to Intervention (RTI) in determinations of SLD eligibility. Proponents of RTI claim that it has benefits for decreasing the incidence of special education classification, reducing minority overrepresentation in special education, and providing early identification and intervention for at-risk students. If advocates of the RTI design are correct in their assertions, research on its structure, implementation and benefits are necessary to inform future practice. This dissertation study examines the RTI process, stakeholder perceptions of RTI benefits and challenges, and gains made in reading for students receiving RTI interventions, within one public school district. This mixed-method, case study included a qualitative sample of 19 staff members serving on the district RTI team and two building RTI teams. Participants included six district administrators, three principals, three general education teachers, two special education teachers, two literacy specialists, two Child Study Team members, and one guidance counselor. Qualitative data collection consisted of individual interviews conducted with all participants, as well as a focus group for the purpose of member checking. Interview and focus group transcripts were coded and key themes were vi generated related to the RTI process, staff perceptions of RTI benefits and challenges, and RTI impact on SLD classification within the district. The quantitative sample consisted of records on thirty first, second and third grade students who received RTI interventions. Data were analyzed using Single Sample t-Tests, Independent Samples t- Tests, a Dependent Samples t-Test, and the Mann-Whitney U Test. Quantitative findings indicate that students receiving RTI interventions benefit from the additional support. In most cases, these students had statistically significant mean beginning scores below same grade peers. Their mean gains with RTI interventions were sufficient to produce mean ending scores statistically insignificant in difference from ending benchmarks for their grade. As RTI / multi-tiered intervention models are implemented across the country, this study offers additional data regarding quantitative gains made by struggling students, as well as staff perceptions of the benefits and challenges of RTI as the process functions in one public school district. This data adds to literature in the field and may be assistive to other districts as they draft frameworks for RTI / multi-tiered intervention systems in the future.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Linda J. Davidoff
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.