Development of an assessment rubric for the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) at elementary schools
Liu, Kimy H., 1967-
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a relatively new approach to identifying students with learning disabilities that has impacted how schools coordinate resources and implement their instructional support and assessment systems. Because RTI is a federal initiative and relatively new approach, there is little consensus on specific approaches and practices to guide school in implementation. This approach has potentially great consequences in providing supports in a more efficient manner for at-risk students as well as improving outcomes for all students. However, to meet this goal, schools need a tool to help guide and evaluate their practices to ensure quality implementation. In this dissertation, I describe the development of a rubric designed to meet this need. This RTI Assessment Rubric is intended to be a tool that practitioners and researchers can use to evaluate the implementation of RTI at the elementary school level. Using qualitative methodologies, the rubric was developed based upon a review of the literature and validated by known experts in the field in terms of its breadth and depth of content. Through this process six components were identified which include evaluating: Tier 1 instruction, universal screening procedures, Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions, progress monitoring practices, evidence-based decision-making, and organizational supports. Next, case studies were created on 5 second grade students who are at risk for reading disabilities in two elementary schools implementing RTI practices. These case studies included classroom observations, interviews with teachers/administrators, record reviews, as well as evaluating student response to school implemented interventions. When these case studies were examined by external reviewers using the RTI rubric, the device demonstrated initial evidence of inter-rater reliability and sensitivity in discriminating between the quality of RTI implementation in these two schools. Teachers reported that the rubric captured the RTI experience within their building. This rubric appears to be useful for both researchers and practitioners as they begin implementation of RTI in schools because it appears to provide relevant, practical, and useful information to guide schools' next steps in RTI implementation.