Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Ronald D. Valenti

Second Supervisor

Christopher Griffin

Abstract

Response to Intervention (RTI) was a major change to the way school districts across the country provided intervention to students at risk of lagging behind in the areas of reading, math, and behavior with a focus on early reading instruction, changing the way all school districts provided academic intervention to students and how they identified students with learning disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 2004 provided legislative requirements that all public school districts across the country provide research based reading instruction prior to referring a student to be considered as having a learning disability. Although the federal government authorized this initiative they gave no specific implementation guidelines, and gave individual states the authority to implement the mandate. The New York State Education Department (NYSED), unlike other state education departments around the country who did provide guidelines for RTI grades K through 12, decided to mandate RTI only for grades K through 4, to be fully implemented by the year 2012 (Delorenzo & Stevens, 2008). Where did this leave middle schools in New York State to provide RTI to their students? Using a mixed methods approach, this researcher conducted a regional program evaluation and surveyed all school administrators in three counties in the southeastern region of New York State, to ascertain what percentage of middle schools have implemented RTI, to what degree, and what factors influenced the successful implementation of RTI and what factors may have been the barriers to success. Using the information from both the survey and the interviews, this researcher presented findings and specific recommendations in order to assist middle schools across the state to successfully implement RTI. The findings and recommendations will add to the body of research available on RTI, especially at the middle school level. Follow-up studies are encouraged to assist school districts in moving toward full implementation of RTI at the secondary level.

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