I read the article "Response To Intervention (RTI): What Teachers of Reading Need to Know" by Eric M. Mesmer and Heidi Anne E. Mesmer. The article discusses the importance of having a good RTI program in the schools. With a good RTI program, and the correct identification of a student as having a learning disability, the student can get the help they need to advance developmentally and academically. According to the article, an RTI is a process of measuring if a learner's academic performance improves when they are provided with well defined research based interventions. However, RTI's are different for each student. Instead of standardizing the interventions to see if students have learning disabilities, RTI's are student measured responses to interventions. In order to get accurate results of the interventions, the RTI is broken down into 5 complex steps.
In the first step, all students are assessed on basic literacy skills, and their results are compared to NCLB benchmark results. In the second step, the students who did not meet the benchmark requirements receive extra help through the pre determined research based interventions. In the third step, many assessments monitoring the students' progress are taken. This is done to make sure that all interventions are effective for each individual students, and to make sure that all students are making adequate academic development. In the fourth step, students who continue to struggle with literacy skills receive interventions that are more individualized. With the new individualized interventions, progress continues to be monitored. In the fifth and final step, students who still continue to struggle with literacy skills are evaluated for special education eligibility.
With the new research based intervention programs, fewer students are falsely identified as special education. Also, the new intervention programs provide better instruction for students who struggle with literacy skills. RTI's help struggling students get back on track developmentally and academically, and it does so in a very quick and precise manner. An RTI really is a fast track to helping struggling students get caught up with the rest of the class without prematurely labeling them as special education or learning disability. What I like most about the RTI is the belief that with the proper aid and intervention, all students can, and will, succeed in an academic environment.