Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Jeanette Silvers

Abstract

Legislative and policy initiatives to implement Response to Intervention (RTI) at the secondary level, as both a general education initiative and a method for determining special education classification, have created a need for research supporting the best mechanism for implementation. Without research to support the best mechanism for implementation of RTI at the secondary level, school districts are applying a framework designed to be used at the elementary level. The structural, content, and scheduling needs of secondary school students are different from elementary school children, and because of this, research studies are essential to the determination of best practices for secondary schools. This secondary data analysis of a naturally occurring quasi-experimental study examined the association between coordinated math instruction for Tier 2 RTI and student performance and engagement. Through the constructivist lens, this study examined if there is an association between coordinated Tier 2 RTI and student performance and engagement. Performance was measured by analyzing a pre-test, midterm assessment, posttest, and student grades. Engagement was measured through an examination of student attendance. Coordination of classroom instruction was investigated by comparing student performance and engagement when the same teacher was responsible for delivering the general education classroom instruction and Tier 2 intervention services, as opposed to different teachers. Understanding the mechanisms for delivering Tier 2 RTI has implications for districts meeting the needs of students. Additionally, the findings from this study include implications for future research, state education departments, and school districts. When education becomes more restrictive for students it is the responsibility of educators to ensure students are in the least restrictive environment and the interventions, both structural and instructional, are research-based and effective in meeting the needs of the individual student. The interventions studied through this research found statistically significant higher performance for students in algebra when students had different teachers for their classroom and the Tier 2 intervention. This supports the reduction of structural barriers faced by this district, and increases student opportunities to take fuller advantage of the comprehensive course offerings. Through engaging in research at the secondary level the full promise of RTI and its impact on student performance will be experienced.

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