Federal mandates allows the use of “response to intervention (RTI)” (Bender, 2008, p. 150) documentation as a way to monitor a student’s difficulty with learning in the classroom setting. Therefore, assessments administered to students in the classroom are part of the RTI process. Every student learns differently, and understanding how a student learns can help a teacher differentiate between students who require specific methods of instruction that will enable them to learn, and students who struggle because of a possible disability (Bender, 2008). Discovering how a student responds to interventions attempted in the classroom can provide documentation of successful strategies, and offers valuable information that can help reduce the need for special education services (Kuder, 2008). Lawmakers believe that the RTI process provides appropriate documentation for referral for special education eligibility determination (Bender, 2008). Current literature indicates that a system of three tiers comprised of various interventions can show, or clearly make evident that a student may have a learning disability (Bender, 2008). However, the state of Georgia requires a four-tiered RTI. Much like the three-tiered RTI, the four-tiered RTI is data driven, and involves the use of research-based interventions, implemented at increasing stages of intensity. Intervention results determine the need for referral for a special education evaluation (Georgia Department of Education, 2008). Tier one intervention strategies are primarily the responsibility of the regular education classroom teacher. The classroom teacher monitors the student’s progress frequently, and documents progress. If the student does not evidence progress, the teacher implements tier two. Tier two involves more formalized strategies and interventions, and more frequent progress monitoring. When planning interventions in tier two, collaboration with special education personnel can be beneficial, and should be considered at this stage. Tier three involves interventions provided through support from the student support team of the school. It may involve recommendations for more individualized testing, development of interventions that are tailored to the student’s specific needs, and if appropriate, referral for special education testing. Tier four involves the administration of comprehensive evaluations, eligibility determination, and placement in specialized programs tailored to address the student’s disability (Georgia Department of Education, 2008).
Fictional Case Study that could occur in this researchers’ system
The following is a fictional scenario of how assessment can be used in the RTI process for a 7-year-old student suspected of having speech-language disorder, specifically in the area of oral language would be conducted in this researcher’s school system.
A classroom teacher notices that one of her students has difficulty following verbal directions. The...