The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $14.2 million to a Washington-based organization to create the National Center on Response to Intervention.
The five-year grant will enable the center, administered by the American Institutes for Research, to serve as a central source of knowledge, expertise, and research on RTI for administrators, teachers, and parents. It is one of several centers funded by the Education Department to disseminate information.
RTI is an evidence-based instructional method that proponents say shows promise both in behavior modification and in catching specific learning disabilities before students fall far behind their classmates. In the best cases, supporters say, proper RTI techniques can make formal special education services unnecessary. The education technique is mentioned in the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Act as one way to identify students with learning disabilities.
The center will be represented at an RTI “summit” scheduled for Dec. 6-7 in Arlington, Va., when several states will present information on their RTI programs.
Maurice McInerney, the co-project director and a managing director of the AIR, said one of the challenges facing the new center is being able to accommodate state and local circumstances, because there are so many differences among the RTI models in use. The center will have access to a knowledge base, he said, and can also help with “scaling- up strategies” for districts and states that want to expand successful programs already in place.
A version of this article appeared in the November 28, 2007 edition of Education Week