Special Report
Special Education

Editor’s Note: Response to Intervention 2.0

By The Editors — December 13, 2016 1 min read

In 2011, Education Week published its first special report on response to intervention, or RTI, an instructional framework that was becoming increasingly popular in schools across the country. The approach was often linked to special education then, and the idea behind it was simple: Identify students early who might be in need of extra help, intervene with increasingly intense lessons, and, in the process, address learning problems before they became entrenched.

Five years later, in researching and writing this pullout special report, Education Week found that RTI is still spreading and expanding into new forms and new educational uses. For instance, positive behavioral intervention and supports, or PBIS, a tiered model for improving discipline, is at heart a form of RTI. And both RTI and PBIS can be combined to form “multitiered systems of support"—a broader term that recognizes the framework’s use in bringing about schoolwide improvements in multiple areas.

Educators in the rural Appalachian community of Martin County, Ky., for example, are putting in place a multitiered intervention approach aimed at improving both school climate and behavior.

With the instructional model’s continued expansion, however, have come growing pains. The more complex and multifaceted that multitiered systems have become, the trickier it has been to implement them. Faithful implementation, it turns out, is crucial to the model’s success and survival. Studies show that RTI-like approaches can be effective when educators adhere to the framework, but not so much when implementation is looser.

That’s a lesson Michigan educators learned in launching a multitiered-systems-of-support initiative to improve academics and behavior in half of the state’s 900 elementary and secondary schools. As Steve Netzel, the executive director of curriculum and staff development for the Holt, Mich., public schools, notes in this report, the multitiered model is not “a McDonald’s ‘value menu’ where you go, ‘I like this part and this part and this part.’ ” All the parts must work together.

If the terms being bandied about around RTI still confuse you, see the primer on Page 8 or read advice from a Georgia administrator who helps implement a multitiered model in his suburban Atlanta district. At bottom, the aim of this report is to provide clarity on an instructional approach that is still evolving.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 14, 2016 edition of Education Week as Editor’s Note

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education What the Research Says Gifted Education Comes Up Short for Low-Income and Black Students
Wildly disparate gifted education programs can give a minor boost in reading, but the benefits mainly accrue to wealthy and white students.
8 min read
Silhouette of group of students with data overlay.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Special Education What the Research Says Most Students With Disabilities Still Attend Remotely. Teachers Say They're Falling Behind
A new survey finds that students with disabilities are struggling in virtual classes, even with added support from teachers.
3 min read
Image shows a young femal student working on a computer from phone, interfacing with an adult female.
Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Special Education Whitepaper
A Comprehensive Guide to the IEP Process
Download this guide to learn strategies for bringing together all stakeholders to plan an IEP that addresses the whole child; using relia...
Content provided by n2y
Special Education What Biden's Pick for Ed. Secretary Discussed With Disability Rights Advocates
Advocates for students with disabilities want Biden to address discipline and the effects of COVID-19 on special education.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, left, look on.
Carolyn Kaster/AP