Theory to Practice: Implementation Achievements and Challenges of Response to Intervention in a Rural District

Brenda L. Barrio, Ph.D.
Kira J. Carbonneau, Ph.D.
Marcus Poppen, Ph.D.
Darcy Miller, Ph.D.
Washington State University

Michael Dunn, Ph.D.
Washington State University - Vancouver

Yun-Ju Hsiao, Ph.D.
Washington State University - Tri-Cities


Implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) has been developed with the goal of increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the identification process for students at risk of/with learning disabilities. While this goal is well-intentioned, the implementation of RTI has faced challenges at the district level. Understanding the current implementation practices of RTI within school districts can provide insight into how the theory and goals behind RTI are being interpreted, thus providing evidence for the benefits of implementing RTI as well as uncovering the challenges that district  face as they implement this pre-referral model. The purpose of this mixed methods study w to examine how RTI is translated into everyday implementation across elementary and intermediate schools. Findings suggest that achievements occurred within the culture, however, inconsistencies and misunderstanding of RTI lead to the misimplementation of components within the model. Implications for research and practice are further discussed. 

Keywords: Response to Intervention, teacher development, in-service teachers, mixed methods

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