Foundations and Research on Identifying Model Responsiveness-to-Intervention SitesReport as inadecuate

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Learning Disability Quarterly, v27 n4 p243 Fall 2004

As regulations are rewritten regarding school-based learning disabilities identification practices, the components of those practices are likely to change. For example, cognitive assessment and aptitude-achievement discrepancy might be less important. A student's responsiveness-to-intervention (RTI) is emerging as an important construct for assessing underachievement. This article provides a framework for understanding how RTI fits as one LD determination component, describes research on RTI, and outlines the NRCLD's research efforts to examine current RTI implementation in schools and model site selection. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it provides a conceptual background for RTI. In addressing that goal it will describe the theoretical framework of RTI, the research about RTI as a prevention model and as a component in LD determination decisions, as well as existing applications of RTI. The second purpose is to describe how NRCLD staff and the staffs from the six national regional resource centers are researching the following four questions: (1) How is RTI implemented locally;(2) How is RTI used in the process of LD identification; (3) How effective is RTI in the prevention of reading problems; and (4) Does RTI enhance LD identification? An outcome of those activities is to select exemplary RTI sites that might assist in national technical assistance and scaling-up activities. The research methodology uses a mixed design of descriptive information from detailed case studies and empirical data from school and student records. This article is viewed as an important opportunity to inform the field about RTI and engage readers in shaping its relevant policies, procedures, practices, and criteria.

Descriptors: Underachievement, Learning Disabilities, Identification, Program Effectiveness, Reading Difficulties, Responses, Case Studies, Special Education, Student Needs, Special Needs Students, Federal Legislation

The Council for Learning Disabilities, P.O. Box 4014, Leesburg, VA 20177. Web site:

Author: Mellard, Daryl F.; Byrd, Sara E.; Johnson, Evelyn; Tollefson, Julie M.; Boesche, Liz



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