RTI -- The Next "Reading First"?
Is RTI ("Response To Intervention") the best thing since sliced bread, or just a new name for something old, or -- worst case scenario -- a fancy-sounding way to overburden mainstream classroom teachers and save districts some cash by delaying SPED referrals? I don't really know.
I just started hearing about RTI last year -- you probably heard about it much earlier. But it had been a while since I'd heard about anything "new" and of course that made me curious. Here's an article by the Washington Post's Michael Allison Chandler from this past winter (Waiting Too Late to Test) that raises some of these questions.
I like the notion of putting in a systematic screening system that makes sure kids don't just fall through the cracks -- rather than relying entirely on teachers' instincts. And I'm curious about the potential for small interventions that might make a difference. But I'm skeptical about teachers' willingness to do all the formative assessments and ability to make a series of subtle adjustments. Maybe that's why it's mostly being implemented in better-off districts.
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