A Longitudinal Study of the Success of Response to Intervention for Educational Leaders
Voltz, Teressa J.
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The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) and the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) focused districts on early intervention in order to assist struggling students as soon as they entered school to accelerate learning and success. A three-tiered model is used in most districts involving three tiers of intervention. Tier 1 lays the foundation of quality, rich instruction with scaffolding and differentiation. Tier 2 is targeted to specific needs and is delivered in small groups. Tier 3 is intensified by lowering the group size and adding intervention time. Through these tiers interventions occur to target students’ needs. Students may be served for a single year or multiple years depending on need and sustainability of progress. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Response to Intervention on students entering kindergarten during the 2007-2008 school year. This study longitudinally examined if the intervention for students who entered RTI in kindergarten and exited at the end of kindergarten sustained success over time using the 2010-2011 TAKS test scores from third grade. The study investigated if students who entered RTI in kindergarten and remained in intervention for any of their schooling in kindergarten, first, second, and/or third grade sustained success over time using the 2010-2011 TAKS test scores. A mixed methods study was used to gauge the perceived success of the RTI program. A focus group of randomly selected reading specialists was conducted by the researcher. The focus group concentrated on how participants felt about the success of the program based on their experience. This study also utilized archival data obtained from the 2010-2011 TAKS assessment in reading. This study found that early intervention brings the most success in students longitudinally. The statistically significant difference was in only one year of service occurring the first year. The number of students served decreased each year with the passing rate by third grade being 90.08% and commended rate 33.59%. The focus group findings confirmed results including necessary early intervention for success. Coaching and small group instruction was prominent in the discussion concentrating on student success. RTI supports struggling students.