WWC review of this study

Using Intensive Intervention to Improve Mathematics Skills of Students with Disabilities: Project Evaluation Report

Petscher, Yaacov; Zumeta Edmonds, Rebecca; Arden, Sarah; Weingarten, Zachary (2020). American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED603459

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: December 2021

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

AIMSweb: Concepts and Applications

Data-Based Individualization (DBI) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 2;
38 students




Show Supplemental Findings

Wide Range Achievement Test 4 (WRAT4): Math Computation Subtest

Data-Based Individualization (DBI) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample: grade 1, 2;
53 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • 9% English language learners

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The data-based individualization intervention was fielded in eight elementary and two middle schools in a public school district outside Tacoma, Washington. The impact study focused on a subset of these elementary schools and did not include the middle schools.

Study sample

In the district where the intervention was tested, 9% of students were English learners (ELs), 72% of students received free or reduced-price lunch, and 12.3% were students with disabilities.

Intervention Group

Data-Based Individualization (DBI) is an iterative and systematic intervention that "uses student data to determine when and how to adapt, intensify, and individualize interventions for students ." It generally includes the following steps: use of a validated intervention, monitoring of student progress, collection of additional diagnostic data, and continuation with intervention until needed or adaptations until no longer needed. In this study, educators and staff received monthly professional development and coaching sessions on the five-step DBI process, student progress monitoring and diagnostic data, mathematics interventions, adapting instruction, and planning effective student intervention meetings.

Comparison Group

The comparison group did not participate in implementation activities during the 2015–16 school year and delivered mathematics instruction and intervention using business-as-usual procedures. They received the intervention after the first year.

Support for implementation

During DBI Phase I, intervention teams began receiving implementation training and support. At the beginning of the school year, i3 project staff conducted site-based needs assessments to determine schools’ baseline implementation of components of DBI and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in mathematics and to determine specific support needs. Project staff used this information to plan and conduct monthly professional development and coaching sessions with teams from all Cohort 1 schools. During DBI Phase II, project staff provided ongoing implementation and professional development throughout the school year. School teams also received refresher trainings on the DBI process, use of validated intervention platforms, intensification strategies, and the role of diagnostic data within the DBI process. Additional monthly professional development activities also included a combination of school staff presentations on their progress toward implementing DBI with students and review of select DBI content. Project staff used a gradual release strategy to shift ownership of the DBI process to school staff in preparation for moving to DBI Phase III (Follow-Up) (page 10-11).


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