What is RTI?
Responsiveness to intervention is an education model that promotes early identification of students who may be at risk for
learning difficulties. RTI, which may be one component in the process a school uses to determine whether a student
has a specific learning disability, often involves tiers of increasingly intense levels of service for students. Most students
will thrive in general education classrooms. For those who don't, a second tier will focus additional attention on the academic
area in which the child struggles. More tiers may be available for students with greater needs.
RTI is a valuable construct because of its potential utility in providing appropriate learning experiences for all
students and for its use in the early identification of students at risk for academic failure. Students benefit when their
current levels of skill and ability are aligned with the instructional and curricular choices provided within their classroom.
When a mismatch occurs, student learning and outcomes are lowered. For some students, typical classroom instruction is
appropriate and meets their needs, but for others, success is not easy. The RTI hypothesis is that the earlier these floundering
students are identified and provided appropriate instruction, the higher the likelihood they can be successful and maintain
their class placement.
An NRCLD paper, Understanding Responsiveness to Intervention in Learning
Disabilities Determination, defines the following core features of strong RTI:
- High-quality research-based classroom instruction
- Student assessment with classroom focus
- Universal screening of academics and behavior
- Continuous progress monitoring of students
- Implementation of appropriate research-based interventions
- Progress monitoring during interventions (effectiveness)
- Teaching behavior fidelity measures