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Demystifying RTI: A Comprehensive Overview

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered framework designed to help students experiencing academic and behavioral difficulties. The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of RTI, highlight the individuals who catalyzed the program, examine its impact on student achievement, and discuss some strategies for teachers to better their use of RTI.

General Outline of RTI and Why It Was Created

RTI is a tiered approach to instruction that provides support to all students. The program’s objective is to improve the academic achievement of all students, identify struggling students early, and provide evidence-based interventions that help students make progress towards their academic goals. The approach relies on data to identify and monitor student progress, provide interventions to students who are struggling, and adjust instruction based on student outcomes.

The program was created in response to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. NCLB aimed to ensure that all students are proficient in reading and math by 2014. To achieve this goal, the Act required schools to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The AYP was measured by the percentage of students who scored at or above the proficient level in reading and math on standardized tests.

In response to NCLB, educators recognized that traditional methods of identifying struggling students and providing support were insufficient. The RTI approach was developed to provide a more effective way to identify and support students who are struggling.

Individuals Who Catalyzed the Program

Several individuals played a significant role in the development and implementation of RTI. One of the most influential was Dr. Douglas Fuchs, a professor of special education at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Fuchs and his colleague, Dr. Lynn Fuchs, developed the RTI approach in the early 2000s. They recognized that many students were not receiving the support they needed and that traditional methods of identifying students with learning disabilities were often unreliable.

Another influential figure in the development of RTI was Dr. Sharon Vaughn, a professor of special education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Vaughn and her colleagues recognized the need for a systematic approach to identify and support struggling students. They developed a three-tiered model that became the foundation of the RTI approach.

How RTI Has Helped Students So Far

Research has shown that RTI has a positive impact on student achievement. By identifying struggling students early and providing evidence-based interventions, students are more likely to make progress towards their academic goals. A study by the National Center on Response to Intervention found that students who received Tier 2 or Tier 3 interventions had higher achievement scores than students who did not receive any intervention.

In addition to improving academic achievement, RTI has also had a positive impact on student behavior. By providing support to students who are struggling, the program helps to reduce problem behaviors that can disrupt the learning environment.

Strategies for Teachers to Better Their Use of RTI

To effectively implement the RTI approach, teachers need to be knowledgeable about the program and its components. Here are some strategies that teachers can use to better their use of RTI:

  1. Familiarize themselves with the RTI approach and its components.

  2. Use data to identify students who are struggling and monitor their progress.

  3. Provide evidence-based interventions that are tailored to each student’s needs.

  4. Collaborate with colleagues to ensure consistency in the implementation of the program.

  5. Involve parents and families in the process to build a supportive network for struggling students.


RTI is a powerful framework that helps students achieve their academic goals and develop positive behavior. By providing evidence-based interventions, the program identifies struggling students early and supports them to make progress towards their academic goals. Educators need to be knowledgeable


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