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Response to Intervention (RTI): An Introduction and Linkages with Ohio Initiatives


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Title: Response to Intervention (RTI): An Introduction and Linkages with Ohio Initiatives

Response to Intervention (RTI) An Introduction
and Linkages with Ohio Initiatives
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • Office for Exceptional Children
  • April 25, 2005
  • Bill Bogdan and Rita Poth, SWO SERRC
  • Janet Graden and Ed Lentz, Univ. of Cincinnati

  • Why RTI
  • Foundations in law (NCLB, IDEIA 2004)
  • Alignment with Ohio Standards
  • Rationale for changes (Key reports, conclusions)
  • What is RTI
  • Multi-tiered scientific-based intervention and
    response to intervention for decisions
  • Alignment with Ohio SIG integrated intervention
    and decision making across tiers
  • RTI and SLD

Topics (continued)
  • Empirical Support for RTI
  • Advantages of RTI
  • Common Questions
  • Challenges for Implementation
  • Considerations for ODE/OEC

Why RTI Key Foundations and Supports in Law
  • NCLB
  • IDEIA 2004
  • Ohio Operating Standards

Why RTI Support in Aspects of NCLB
  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
  • Big idea improvement of academic and behavioral
    results for all students, through
    scientifically-based instruction, curriculum, and
  • Identification and intervention of academic and
    behavior problems early, when they occur in the
  • Design and implementation of remedial and
    individualized interventions for students not
    responding to scientifically-based instruction
    and intervention on-going progress monitoring of
    student performance outcomes
  • Inclusion of all students within a single
    standards-based accountability system
    documentation of student progress and outcomes
    through AYP

Why RTI Support in IDEIA 2004
  • IDEIA 2004 Reauthorization
  • Big idea Students with disabilities (SWD) are
    general education students first - content
    standards and assessments
  • Inclusion of children with disabilities in NCLB
    assessments (and sub-group reporting for AYP)
  • Early intervening (previously pre-referral
    intervention) strengthened and extended
  • Changes in assessment language (from tests and
    evaluation to assessment and measurement)

RTI and IDEIA- Specific RTI Language
  • Section 614 (5) Special Rule for Eligibility
  • In making a determination of eligibility under
    paragraph (4)(A), a child shall not be determined
    to be a child with a disability if the
    determinate factor for such determination is (A)
    lack of appropriate instruction in reading,
    including in the essential components of reading
    instruction (as defined in section 1208(3) of the
    ESEA of 1965)

RTI and IDEIA Specific Language for SLD
  • Section 614(b)(6)
  • (A) IN GENERAL. Notwithstanding section 607(b),
    when determining whether a child has a specific
    learning disability as defined in section 602, a
    LEA shall not be required to take into
    consideration whether a child 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.

RTI and IDEIA Specific Language for SLD (cont.)
  • Section 614(b)(5)
  • (B) ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY. In determining
    whether a child has a specific learning
    disability, a LEA may use a process that
    determines if the child responds to scientific,
    research-based intervention as a part of the
    evaluation procedures described in paragraphs (2)
    and (3).

  • Specific language allowing RTI appears in SLD
    section however,
  • Support for RTI approach is built in throughout
    IDEIA and NCLB (e.g., consideration of
    scientifically-based reading instruction,
    intervention requirements based on response to
    scientifically-based reading instruction, direct
    assessment and progress monitoring)

Ohio Alignment and Support for RTI
  • Priorities of Office for Exceptional Children
    (aligned with ODE priorities)
  • Standards Improve access to the general
    curriculum improve the participation and
    progress of CWD in the general curriculum
  • Capacity Improve schools capacity to improve
    outcomes for all children encourage others to
    consider CWD and at-risk learners as general
    education students first
  • Accountability Increase the performance of CWD
    on state and district assessments

Ohio Support for RTI Operating Standards for
Ohios Schools
  • 3301-35-06
  • instruction includes intervention and shall be
  • consistent with educational research and proven
  • appropriate to age, developmental needs, learning
    styles, abilities, English proficiency

RTI Support Operating Standards for Ohios
  • 3301-35-06
  • Intervention requirement and definition
    Intervention means alternative or supplemental
    instruction designed to help students meet
    performance objectives.
  • Districts are required to provide students with
    sufficient time and opportunity to achieve
    performance objectives

RTI Support Ohio Standards for SWD Specific
Evaluation Requirements
  • 33-51-06 (D) Evaluation Procedures
  • Requirement to review existing evaluation data,
    including data from previous interventions,
    including interventions required by rule
    3301-35-06 of Admin. Code

RTI Support Operating Standards for SWD Specific
Evaluation Requirements
  • 3301-51-06 (A,2)
  • Each school district shall provide intervention
    to resolve concerns for the preschool or
    school-age child prior to conducting a full and
    individual evaluation.

RTI Support Ohio Standards for SWD Specific
Evaluation Requirements
  • 3301-51-06 (A,3)
  • Each district shall use data from interventions
    to determine eligibility for special education
    services, appropriate instructional practices,
    and access to the general curriculum.

Why RTI Reasons for Change
  • Support for changes from various national
    commissions and reports
  • LD Summit (2002)
  • Presidents Commission (2002)
  • National Research Center on LD (2003)
  • National Research Council Report on Minority
    Over-Representation (2002)

Learning Disabilities Summit (2002)
  • Endorsed a response to intervention model as the
    most promising method of alternative
  • RTI can both promote effective practices in
    schools and help to close the gap between
    identification and treatment.
  • Problem solving models have been shown to be
    effective in public school settings and research.

Presidents Commission on Excellence in Special
Education (2002) Recommendations
  • Focus on improving outcomes for children with
    disabilities (CWD)
  • Focus on CWD as general education student first
    (curriculum, assessments)
  • Needs-based, non-categorical, flexible systems
  • Early intervention and response-to-intervention
    across tiers as model for serving all students

National Research Center on Learning Disabilities
  • Ability/achievement discrepancy requirement
  • Based on best guess at time
  • Controversial even at that time (1970s)
  • Consensus conclusion that does not work
  • Problems with ability/achievement discrepancy
  • Lack of validity (does not establish group of
    students with unique needs regardless of
    discrepancy groups respond to same kind of
    intervention with same results)
  • Problems with reliability (decision reliability)
  • Most important delays treatment wait to fail

Wait to Fail Problem
  • Discrepancy formula doesnt identify as eligible
    until Grades 3-4
  • Data from National Institute of Health (1999)
  • If students are not reading at grade level by Gr.
    3, odds of reading at g.l. are 1 in 17
  • 2 hrs. of intensive daily instruction required in
    Gr. 4 to make same gains as 30 min. of
    instruction in Kindergarten

Other Reasons for Change from Reports
  • CWD drop out rates (2x peers) and rate of
    enrollment in higher education (1/2x peers)
  • Over- and under-representation of ethnic
    minorities (National Research Council, 200X)
  • 300 growth in SLD identification since 1976

Other Reasons (cont.)
  • 80 of SLD identified for reading
  • 50 of identified SLD do not meet state criteria
  • Lack of demonstrated relationship between
    discrepant/non-discrepant LD students and
    effectiveness of reading strategies (respond
    equally to effective instruction)

Key Ideas from National Reports and
Recommendations (reflected in NCLB and IDEIA)
  • Early intervening and prevention
  • (not waiting to fail)
  • Intervention and response to intervention data at
    all levels
  • (multi-tiered approach to prevention and
    intervention school-wide to individual)
  • Direct assessment, link to standards and
    instructional needs in general education
    curriculum and progress assessment
  • Scientifically-based intervention and assessment

What is RTI Key Foundations
  • Multi-tiered intervention of increasing or
    decreasing intensity, based on need
  • Data-based decision making and progress
    monitoring at all tiers
  • Effective, research-based intervention at all
  • Flexible services
  • Ohio SIG includes these foundations

An Integrated Systems Approach Intervention
Based Services and Positive Behavior Supports
Academic Systems
Behavioral Systems
Decisions about tiers of support are data-based
Adapted from OSEP Effective School-Wide
Tier 1 Universal Intervention and Screening
  • Universal core research-based curriculum/approach
    for all students linked to general education
    standards (effective reading curriculum
    school-wide Positive Behavior Support)
  • Universal screening and use of data
    (Curriculum-Based Measurement, DIBELS for
    academic) to make decisions about those not
    progressing and in need of intervention

Tier 2 Targeted Intervention and Progress
  • Targeted, more intensive research-based
    intervention for those students not making
    sufficient progress program or
    scripted/manualized approach still linked to
    standards and including Tier 1
  • More frequent progress monitoring for data-based
    decision making (same data base as for Tier 1)

Tier 3 Intensive, Individualized Intervention
and Progress Monitoring
  • Interventions based on individualized problem
    solving still linked to Tier 1 and 2 and general
    curriculum research-based interventions
  • More frequent progress monitoring for data-based
    decision making (same data at Tier 1 2)
    depending on progress at this level may lead to
    consideration of eligibility determination

RTI Comprehensive Evaluation Core
  • RTI core is the analysis of achievement and
    behavior, using direct measures in natural
  • Precise measurement and analysis of skill levels
  • Precise analysis of alterable conditions for
  • Application of powerful instructional design and
    behavior change methods
  • Assessment of rate of learning, progress
    monitoring with formative evaluation
  • Decisions based on data from intervention outcomes

RTI and Identification for SLD
  • Documented difference between students
    performance and like-aged peers using
    local/state/national norms in relevant domains on
    direct performance measures
  • Insufficient response to research-based
    instruction and interventions of increasing
    intensity and measurement precision
  • Documented adverse impact on education performance

RTI and SLD Identification (cont.)
  • Documented need for specially designed
    instruction and/or related services in order for
    child to obtain an appropriate education
  • Application of exclusionary criteria including MR
    (CD), ED, speech/language
  • Exit criteria defined in terms of targets for
    improved performance
  • National Academy of Sciences Panel, Donovan
    Cross, 2002

What RTI Looks Like in Practice Versus Typical
Past Practice
Screen all students, deliver research-based core curriculum (Tier 1) Wait for referrals (often wait to fail)
For students not progressing in Tier 1, provide research-based intervention (Tier 2), with frequent progress monitoring Provide brainstormed interventions following teacher referral many students not achieving are not referred or identified early
For students not progressing in Tier 2, start problem solving for individualized research-based interventions (Tier 3), more frequent monitoring Often, referral to Intervention Assistance Team (too often seen as hurdle, another step, no problem solving, research-based intervention or progress monitoring)
Consideration of eligibility (considering RTI data, progress, need for specialized instruction) Testing (frustration if not eligible if eligible, no clear link to instruction and IEP from tests used)
Empirical Support for RTI
  • What Does Work
  • Early intervening for academics improves student
    outcomes - prevents academic failure and
    subsequent behavior problems
  • Direct assessment of student performance,
    on-going progress monitoring (informs
    instruction, linked to content standards)
  • Scientifically-based instruction and intervention
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Curriculum-based measurementgraphingformative
  • (Fuchs Fuchs, Gresham, 2001 Kellam et al.,

Empirical Support for RTI
  • What Has Not Worked
  • Diagnosis and placement does not connect to
    effective instructionassessing for cognitive
    deficits does not link to ways to remediate
    deficits and improve student outcomes
  • No differences in effective instruction and
    intervention for low achieving students with or
    without IQ/achievement discrepancies (effective
    instruction is effective instruction)
  • (Fletcher et al., 1994 Reschly Ysseldyke
    2002 Tilly et al., 1999)

Advantages of RTI
  • From research and practice, across many settings
    (Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina)
  • Prevention and early intervention for problems
  • Matching intensity of intervention to severity of
  • Integration of general education and special
    education services
  • Reduction of identification biases, over- and
    under-representation issues (seen as strong
    approach by OCR)
  • Strong focus on student outcomes

Implications of Changes Anticipating Some Common
Comments and Questions
  • More students will qualify and there will be
    inconsistencies across schools, districts, and
  • National/state data show existing inconsistency
  • In states and districts implementing approach,
    has been no increase in students identified
  • Services based on comprehensive, systematic data
    on intervention need

Common Questions/Comments
  • Intervention takes too much time the
    intervention process delays identification
  • Problems are identified and intervened with early
  • Progress monitoring is frequent to assure child
    is progressing, or decision to move to more
    intensive level
  • Identification of need for more intensive
    intervention is data-based link to
    identification and IEP is natural progression

Common Questions/Concerns
  • Due process complaints will increase
  • In states/districts/schools that have implemented
    tiered intervention model, due process complaints
    have not increased (decreases documented
    state-wide in Iowa)
  • With early, frequent parent involvement and focus
    on research-based interventions, frequent
    progress monitoring, and data-based decisions,
    high level of parent satisfaction has been seen

Common Questions/Comments
  • We wont need school psychologists (or we will
    need more of them)
  • Evidence from state-wide implementation (Iowa)
    and from several regional examples (OH, IL, SC)
    shows that there is no reduction in school
    psychologists, and depending on existing use and
    services, often do hire more (more valued for
    comprehensive role)

Common Questions/Comments
  • Need to assess psychological processing for SLD
  • Federal definition does not use language
    psychological processing
  • LD Panel (OSEP, 2002) consensus statement that
    systematically measuring processing difficulties
    and their link to treatment is not yet feasible.
  • Recent research on neurobiology physiological
    changes follow effective instruction and learning

Common Questions/Comments
  • Need to assess ability for SLD
  • No federal requirement for test of ability
    language is assessment
  • Methods for exclusionary consideration (ruling
    out mental retardation) consideration of
    adaptive behavior
  • Consideration of sources of evidence for
    ability in broad sense

Research Conclusions on IQ Use in Eligibility
  • IQ tests given to young children are
    comparatively not good predictors of later
    reading difficulties. Furthermore, IQ is not a
    strong indicator of how well a young child will
    respond to intervention programs for reading.
    Therefore, I do not recommend IQ tests as
    essential for early identification of boys and
    girls at risk for reading difficulty. (Shaywitz,
    2003, p. 147).
  • IQ test performance does not predict performance
    on state accountability assessments (McGrew
    Evans, 2004)

Federal Definition
  • Specific learning disability means a disorder in
    one or more of the basic psychological processes
    involved in understanding or in using language,
    spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an
    imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read,
    write, spell or do mathematical calculations

Federal Definition (cont.)
  • including conditions such as perceptual
    disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain
    dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental
    aphasiaThe term does not include learning
    problems that are primarily the result of visual,
    hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental
    retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of
    environmental, cultural, or economic

Approaching SLD Eligibility from an RTI
Perspective Whats Needed for Successful
  • Effective use and documentation of
  • Problem solving
  • Implementation of scientifically-based
    instruction and intervention at multiple tiers
  • Data-based decision making at all tiers
  • Flexible, needs-based services delivery

Challenges in Implementation
  • Need for building capacity supporting
    school-wide and systems change
  • Planning for professional development needs
    within RTI model
  • Role changes
  • Services delivery needs (services based on needs,
    data, flexibility)
  • Research to practice gap

Considerations and Next Steps for ODE
  • Supporting LEAs in implementation of RTI
  • Existing partners, models, resources (SIG,
    SERRCs, experiences of SW Ohio partners)
  • Existing NCLB initiatives and supports (general
    education linkages)
  • Partnerships with other states and within Ohio
    NASDSE resources
  • Areas for learning (resources, visitations with
    existing models)

Resources and References
  • Presidents Commission on Excellence in Special
    Education (July, 2002) (
  • LD National Summit Panel (2002)
  • National Research Center on Learning Disabilities

Resources and References
  • National Academy of Sciences/National Research
    Council Report on Minority Students in Special
    and Gifted Education (2002) Donovan, M.S.
    Cross, C.T. (Eds.) (

Resources and References
  • McGrew, K. Evans, J. (2004). Expectations for
    students with cognitive disabilities Is the cup
    half empty or half full. NCEO Synthesis Report
  • Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia. NY