Making Response-To-Intervention (RTI) Work in Your SchoolsJim Wrightwww.interventioncentral.org
Any darn mule can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Lyndon Johnson
Changes to LD Definition in Part 200 Learning disabilities. In determining whether a student has a learning disability …, the school district: (i) may use a process that determines if the student responds to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures [Response-to-Intervention Model] …; and (ii) is not required to consider whether a student has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation or mathematical reasoning [Discrepancy Model]. Emergency Adoption of Amendment of Section 100.2 and Parts 101, 200 and 201 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to Conform to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 – Effective September 13, 2005
Discrepancy (‘Wait to Fail’) Model LD identified by giving a battery of standardized tests and looking for significant gaps between students' achievement and intellectual ability. The tester infers that a profile of strengths and weaknesses revealed in cognitive and achievement tests have direct real-world application to the student’s classroom performance.
Inference as a Reasoning Tool in·fer·ence ‘The act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.’ -The American Heritage Dictionary
Learning Disabilities: Medical Model “Traditionally, disability is viewed as a deficit that resides within the individual, the severity of which might be influenced, but not created, by contextual variables.”(Vaughn & Fuchs, 2003)
Learning Disabilities: Medical Model Underlying premise-that LD is a ‘medical’ condition: • LD is explained as a neurological condition that impacts on learning. Because LD is a physical, within-child condition, it is unlikely that changes in classroom instruction will significantly improve academic performance • A formal battery of tests can diagnose LD, largely in isolation from classroom information • Based on the profile of needs uncovered by testing results, specific ‘treatments’ can be prescribed to help the student learn • These treatments are highly likely to be effective, making it unnecessary to measure their impact
Discrepancy Model: Drawbacks Some possible drawbacks to the 'discrepancy model‘: • is built upon a high-inference assumption (that LD is best explained as a medical condition) • requires chronic school failure before special education supports can be given • fails to consider that outside factors such as poor or inconsistent instruction may contribute to a child's learning delays
Response-to-Intervention (RTI) Model LD identified as follows: • Schools identify children experiencing significant academic delays, • match them up with scientific, research-based interventions, • and monitor these students' progress. A child's failure to respond positively to several carefully selected, well-implemented interventions could then be viewed as evidence that the student has a learning disability and requires special education services.
Learning Disabilities: RTI Underlying premise-that LD is an interaction between child and instructional environment: • Student academic deficits can best be gauged by observing the child engage in tasks from classroom curriculum and reviewing work products • Interventions are a quasi-experiment (no assurance a priori that the intervention will actually benefit the student) • Ongoing progress-monitoring is required to document ‘response to intervention’ • LD is diagnosed when all competing external explanations for poor student performance (e.g., inadequate instruction) are ruled out
Instructional Variables: What Difference Does a Teacher Make? Statistician Dr. Richard Sanders analyzed longitudinal data from Tennessee state assessments—by teacher and by student… Findings…
“Three consecutive years of first quintile (least-effective) teachers in grades three-five yield math scores from the 35th to 45th percentile. Conversely, three straight years of fifth quintile (most-effective) teachers result in scores at the 85th to 95th percentile.” --USA Today, 2001 (Publication of the Society for the Advancement of Education)
1. Identify & Verify the Scope of the Problem 2. Select Interventions That Address ‘Root Cause’ 3. Set Goals for Improvement 4. Monitor Student Progress & Evaluate Outcome Solving Student Academic or Behavioral Problems: A Four-Part Model
RTI: “ …a process that determines if the student responds to scientific, research-based intervention…” The devil is in the details!
Avg Classroom Academic Performance Level Target Student Skill Gap (Current Performance Level) Gap in Rate of Learning (‘Slope of Improvement’) ‘Dual-Discrepancy’: RTI Model of Learning Disability(Fuchs 2003)
Tier I‘School-Wide Screening & Group Intervention’ Tier II ‘Non-Responders’ to Tier I Are Identified & Given ‘Individually Tailored’ Interventions (e.g., peer tutoring/fluency) RTI: School-Wide Three-Tier Framework (Kovaleski, 2003) Tier III ‘Long-Term Programming for Students Who Fail to Respond to Tier II Interventions’ (e.g., Special Education)
Tier II: ‘Non-Responders’ to Universally Available Instructional Support(Fuchs et al., 2003; Kovaleski, 2003) Tier II assistance can be provided through: • Team-based support to the classroom teacher, or • A “short-term course of pull-out intervention that is based on a standard protocol of empirically validated instructional treatments” e.g., peer tutoring with fluency-building procedures(Kovaleski, 2003)
RTI Model: Drawbacks Some possible drawbacks to the ‘Response-To-Intervention Model‘ (Vaughn & Fuchs, 2003): • Has ‘arbitrary cutpoint’ on a continuum of non-responding • Interventions and monitoring procedures have not been fully validated across grade levels • Lacks clear guidelines for when ‘enough is enough’ in intervention efforts
Implementing RTI: Next Steps • Adopt evidence-based intervention strategies. Academic interventions will have a higher chance of success if they are based on sound empirical research.
Implementing RTI: Next Steps Web resources for evidence-based intervention strategies • Big Ideas in Beginning Reading (U of Oregon):reading.uoregon.edu • What Works Clearinghouse (US Dept of Education): www.w-w-c.org • Intervention Central: www.interventioncentral.org
Savvy Teacher’s Guide: Reading Interventions That Work (Wright, 2000)
Interventions for…Increasing Reading Fluency • Assisted Reading Practice • Listening Passage Preview (‘ListeningWhile Reading’) • Paired Reading • Repeated Reading
Interventions for…Improving Comprehension • ‘Click or Clunk?’ Self-Check • Keywords: A Memorization Strategy • Main Idea Maps • Mental Imagery: Improving Text Recall • Oral Recitation Lesson • Prior Knowledge: Activating the ‘Known’ • Question-Generation • Reciprocal Teaching: A Reading Comprehension Package • Story Map • Text Lookback
Implementing RTI: Next Steps • Train staff to collect frequent progress-monitoring data. Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) can be used to assess a student’s accuracy and speed in basic-skill areas such as reading fluency, math computation, writing, spelling, and pre-literacy skills. Teachers also can measure the behavior of struggling learners on a daily basis by using classroom behavior report cards: simple, convenient rating forms to track a child’s work completion, attention to task, compliance with teacher directions, and other behaviors that influence learning.
Implementing RTI: Next Steps Web resources for progress-monitoring • CBM Warehouse: www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/cbmwarehouse.shtml • The Behavior Reporter (Behavior Report Card Generator): http://www.jimwrightonline.com/php/tbrc/tbrc.php
Implementing RTI: Next Steps • Develop building-level intervention programs to address common academic concerns. When faced with large numbers of students with shared academic concerns (e.g., reading fluency), schools can create a building-level intervention program to meet this need. For example, older children could tutor younger students by using simple, research-based techniques to boost their tutees’ reading fluency.
Implementing RTI: Next Steps Web resource for a building-level intervention program: peer-tutoring/reading fluency • Kids as Reading Helpers Peer Tutoring Manual:www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/rdngfluency/prtutor.shtml
Implementing RTI: Next Steps • Establish a building intervention team. Made up of teachers and support staff, the intervention team can help referring teachers design feasible strategies for struggling students. Intervention teams also foster a sense of collegiality and mutual support among educators, promote the use of evidence-based interventions, and assist busy teachers in carrying out intervention plans.
Strategies to Minimize Teacher Resistance to Classroom Interventions(Kovaleski, 2003) • Collaborative team problem-solving process in which the referring teacher is an active and equal participant • Peer-coaching’ format for introducing intervention to classroom--with modeling of intervention for teacher • Ongoing consultation with referring teacher to ‘embed’ intervention into classroom routine
Implementing RTI: Next Steps Web resources on building intervention teams • Screening to Enhance Educational Performance: STEEP (Joe Witt, Ph.D.):http://www.joewitt.org/steep.htm • Instructional Consultation Teams (Sylvia Rosenfield, Ph.D.)http://www.icteams.umd.edu/ • School-Based Intervention Teams (Syracuse City Schools):http://www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/interventions/sbit.shtml
SBIT Consultative Process • Step 1: Assess Teacher Concerns • Step 2: Inventory Student Strengths and Talents • Step 3: Select Target Teacher Concerns • Step 4: Set Goals • Step 5: Design an Intervention Plan • Step 6: Plan How to Share Information with the Student’s Parent(s) • Step 7: Review the Intervention and Monitoring Plans
Implementing RTI: Next Steps • Align Current Intervention & Assessment Efforts With 3-Tier Model. Many schools already have intervention & assessment initiatives in place. Mapping out those initiatives, standardizing their content, and tying them to the appropriate level of the 3-tier intervention framework can help schools to better coordinate intervention programming.
AIS Tier I Reading Lab PBIS Math Lab Tier II Intervention Team PBIS Tier III PBIS
References • Fuchs, D., Mock, D., Morgan, P.L., & Young, C.L. (2003). Responsiveness-to-Intervention: Definitions, evidence, and implications for the learning disability construct. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18(3), 157-171. • Fuchs, L. (2003). Assessing intervention responsiveness: Conceptual and technical issues. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18(3), 172-186. • Kovaleski, J. F. (2003). The three-tier model of identifying learning disabilities: Critical program features and system issues. Paper presented at the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities Responsiveness-to-Intervention Symposium, Kansas City, MO. • Vaughn, S., & Fuchs, L.S. (2003). Redefining learning disabilities as inadequate response to instruction: The promise and potential problems. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18(3), 137-146.