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What's Happening in States Measuring Schools' Response to Intervention (RTI) Implementation Progress


Description: Too many Tennessee elementary-aged students are reading below grade level standards based on the 2015 Tennessee state assessment. These results are unsatisfactory and concerning because students who struggle with reading in early elementary school are more likely than other students to leave school before graduation. Tennessee's state leadership is addressing this issue by establishing initiatives such as the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) framework that underscore the importance of intervening early to prevent reading problems from escalating. The RTI2 framework seeks to provide high-quality, rigorous, and differentiated instruction for all students through tier I supports and uses universal screening and data-based decisionmaking processes and tools to identify when students may need more targeted intervention and supports through tiers II and III. This framework enables educators to intervene early to mitigate persistent academic difficulties, and it is also used to identify students who may have a specific learning disability.

Tennessee leaders want to know how schools are implementing RTI2 practices to understand if the use of RTI2 practices leads to improved literacy outcomes. To inform its process for examining how Tennessee schools are implementing response to intervention, leaders are interested in learning how other states support schools by using tools to assess RTI implementation fidelity and progress. The purpose of this study is to conduct a state scan of the types of tools and approaches states use to measure RTI implementation. The research questions are directed by two main goals: understanding the types of assessment tools states use to measure RTI implementation and understanding the approaches states with assessment tools use to support districts and schools in using those tools to measure RTI implementation.

Research Questions:
Research question 1. What types of assessment tools do states use to measure RTI implementation?
Research Question 2. What approaches do states use to support districts and schools in using the assessment tool?
Research Question 3. What lessons learned and recommendations do the eight states selected to participate in interviews have about the selection, implementation, and use of an assessment tool for measuring RTI implementation?

Study Design: The research design is a descriptive study that will use information and documents publicly available on state education agency websites and through a general Internet search and interviews with eight states.

Projected Release Date: Fall 2019

Partnership or Research Alliance: Tennessee Early Literacy Partnership

Related Products: What's Happening?
Stated Briefly

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Dr. Ellen Schiller, SRI International
Dr. Kirby Chow, SRI International