Roots, Reality, Reboot: Transforming (Special) Education to Advance Equity and Learning

Instruction: Related Approaches (IV)

**Ventura County Office of Education & California Department of Education. (2011). Response to Instruction and Intervention: An implementation and technical assistance guide for districts and schools (pp. 5-13). Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education. 

The sections of this report included here provide an overview of California’s Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI²) framework. RtI² is an approach to instruction that integrates resources from general education, special education, and categorical programs using a three-tier system with 10 components. The purpose of the RtI² framework is to increase access, participation and meaningful progress in the core curriculum for all students, while simultaneously emphasizing early intervention for students experiencing difficulties. In doing so, RtI² aims to ensure that students who experience learning difficulties are not misdiagnosed as needing special education services. Tier 1 of RtI² consists of core, universal instruction; Tier2 is strategic/targeted instruction for students who do not respond to Tier 1 instruction and efforts; and Tier 3 is intensive intervention instruction for the roughly 5-10 percent of the students who need their progress continually monitored.

**McInerney, M., & Elledge, A. (2013). Using a response to intervention framework to improve student learning: A pocket guide for state and district leaders. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research. Available at http://www.air.org/files/Response_to_Intervention_Pocket_Guide_2.pdf

This “pocket guide” presents research-based considerations for states and districts using a response-to-intervention (RTI) approach as part of a system of differentiated recognition, accountability, and supports for school improvement. The authors’ review of 35 approved state flexibility (NCLB waiver) plans found that 32 mentioned using RTI/tiered instruction approaches. Based on rigorous research reviewed by the National Center on RTI at the American Institutes for Research, the authors highlight several recommendations for implementing RTI with fidelity: 1) Institute a continuum of instructional supports for students through a multi-level prevention system, including primary prevention through high quality core instruction in the classroom, secondary prevention through supplementary interventions of moderate intensity for students most at risk, and tertiary prevention through individualized interventions for those who do not respond to secondary prevention approaches; 2) employ universal screening through brief, valid and reliable assessments; and 3) monitor student progress using research-based assessment tools. The authors also note that RTI can be an effective part of school turnaround by enhancing strong leadership, a focus on instruction, and staff commitment and integration.

Klingner, J.K., & Edwards, P.A. (2006). Cultural considerations with Response to Intervention models. Reading Research Quarterly, 41(1), 108-117. Available at http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/http___ www.reading.org_Library_Retrieve.cfm_D=10.1598_RRQ.41.1.6&F=RRQ-41-1-Klingner.pdf

This article describes the potential of RTI models to improve educational opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse students and to reduce their disproportionate representation in special education. The authors begin by challenging the educational community to engage in discussion and research on critical issues regarding the implementation of RTI—such as what is counted as empirical evidence, or issues of fidelity and generalizability—to prevent the strategy from becoming a deficit-based approach to sorting children. Then, the authors propose a four-tiered culturally- and-linguistically responsive RTI model. In Tier 1, all students are instructed by culturally responsive teachers who employ evidence-based interventions. The authors identify the need for more research on Tier 2 intervention programs for struggling culturally and linguistically diverse students. The third tier involves referral to a Teacher Assistance Team or Child Study Team with a diverse membership who observes the student in the classroom and other settings. In Tier 4, students receive special education services.

McNulty, R. J. & Gloeckler, L. C. (2011, February). Fewer, clearer, higher Common Core State Standards: Implications for students receiving special education services. Rexford, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education. Available at http://www.leadered.com/pdf/Fewer_Clearer_Higher_CCSS_Special_Education_2014.pdf

This article discusses the implications of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on students with disabilities. It argues that the CCSS should prepare all students for college and the workforce, including those with special needs. Therefore, districts and schools must consider their current and future instructional delivery models as they transition to CCSS to ensure that all students, including those receiving supplemental services, are receiving equal access to a high-quality education. The authors have identified five key elements that schools must address to support the achievement of students with disabilities: 1) ownership, 2) high expectations, 3) intervention systems, 4) inclusion/collaborative teaching, and 5) organization and professional development.

**This document is considered a priority reading.