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ERIC Number: EJ868094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Response to Intervention and Eligibility Decisions: We Need to Wait to Succeed
Burns, Matthew; Riley-Tillman, T. Chris
Communique, v38 n1 p1, 10-11 Sep 2009
School psychologists in this country are fed up. The authors are both fortunate enough to consult with school districts all over the country about implementing response to intervention (RTI), and they consistently hear frustration resulting from using the "wait to fail" discrepancy model for learning disability identification. Many school psychologists with whom the authors work are eager to adopt an RTI model because it is seen as a faster way to get students help. However, those same school psychologists are also frustrated by the lack of consensus about how to best use RTI models to determine student eligibility in the category of specific learning disability (SLD). The very important question of "What are the specific requirements to classify a child as SLD?" seems to remain fuzzy in practice and mostly absent from the research literature. It is interesting to note that the federal provision for RTI exists in the eligibility criteria for SLD, but the focus in policy and research tends to deemphasize eligibility decision making in favor of concentrating on RTI as a method to enhance student learning. Unfortunately, both aspects of an RTI model are critical in practice, and should receive empirical attention. This article discusses the importance of emphasizing student learning within an RTI model while continuing research and policy decisions about eligibility decision making. The authors discuss the focus of RTI, the conditions needed to make eligibility decisions, and when school districts should use RTI data to make eligibility decisions.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A