Response to Intervention: Blistering Questions - Searing Answers EED Winter Education Conference Informing Instruction: Improving Achievement W. David Tilly III, Ph.D. Heartland Area Education Agency 11 January 18, 2007 Correspondence about this presentation should be directed to David Tilly, Heartland AEA 11, 6500 Corporate Dr., Johnston, IA 50131. Email is email@example.com, (515) 321-9554.
Questions and Answers • From many sources • NASP Listserve • National Association of State Directors of Special Education • Presentations Around the Country • Misinformation Coming Out From Various Avenues • Comments on Regulations • Ongoing Conversations • Answers are based on best information at the time • Some of the questions in the presentation aren’t in the handout • Areas • Assessment • Due Process and Procedural Safeguards • System Impacts
Can We Just Do RtI and Forget the Problem Solving? • No • Problem solving is the decision making framework upon which each tier of RtI is built • The same thinking structures are used at each level of the model
High Amount of Resources Needed Low Low High INTENSITY OF PROBLEM Relationship Between Heartland Problem Solving Model and 3-Tier Model
RtI Guiding Questions • Is the core program sufficient? • If the core program is not sufficient, why isn’t it? • How will needs identified in the core be addressed? • How will the effectiveness and efficiency of the core be monitored over time? • Have improvements to the core been effective? • For which students is the core program sufficient or not sufficient and why? • What specific supplemental and intensive instruction is needed? • How will supplemental and intensive instruction be delivered? • How will effectiveness of supplemental and intensive instruction be monitored? • Which students need to move to a different level of instruction? These Repeat for Supplemental Intensive
Will comprehensive evaluations change as a result of RtI? If so, how? • Yes • Remember, Full and Individual • RtI changes in the nature of the comprehensive evaluation away from testing for eligibility to an organization of data already collected on the student’s instructional progress for planning increasingly intense interventions. The regulations indicate that districts can choose RtI or a discrepancy model, but there is no point in a discrepancy model if RTI is in place. (NASDSE, 2006)
WISC-III Woodcock Johnson – R Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test Motor Screen Bender Teacher Interview Speech Screening Health History Social History Educational History Intervention Summary Review Vision-Hearing Screening Parent and Teacher Interviews CBM Normative Comparisons Curriculum-Based Evaluation Survey-Level Curriculum-Based Evaluation Specific-Level Procedures Illustration for Students with Disabilities (e.g., Melissa) Our Old System Our New System
300.304 Evaluation Procedures • (4) The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities; Emphasis Added
At what point in the RtI process must parents be notified of their Due Process Rights? • Same as always: When someone reasonably asks the questions whether a student might have a disability • Criteria for suspecting disability • Both Intensity and Severity of problems
What protections are in the RtI system to protect parents’ and students’ rights? • Many • Due process as a continuum • Students doing fine get less than students who are challenged • All or Nothing - NOT • Protections • Invitation early • Consistent and effective communication about what’s important • The “Trigger” • Progress monitoring data
Is it legal to collect individual student performance data without getting parental permission? • Qualified yes • Depends on why you’re doing it • General education instruction and improvement • Special education entitlement decisions • Omnibus notice is important
IDEIA ‘04 Regulations • § 300.302 Screening for instructional purposes is not evaluation. The screening of a student by a teacher or specialist to determine appropriate instructional strategies for curriculum implementation shall not be considered to be an evaluation for eligibility for special education and related services. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414(a)(1)(E))
Given that we only have 60 days to complete a comprehensive evaluation, how can we do that and still maintain RtI integrity? • There are a few keys here • Do not define the levels structurally (e.g., 1 = general education, 2 = title 1, 3 = special education) • Do not require a SPED referral prior to general education interventions • Do not get permission for “testing” prior to implementing general education interventions • Remember the purpose of your actions
Can parents request a comprehensive evaluation in RtI systems? • Certainly, parents can request anything they want to request • They cannot, however, dictate what that comprehensive assessment will be • That is a professional decision guided by your state rules • Do not fight with parents over this!
Doesn’t the Federal Law require that we give IQ tests to identify students with disabilities? • No • The federal law does not require you to give any specific kind of tests • The requirements for assessments are very broad
IMPORTANT POINT • There is tremendous flexibility within IDEA • One of Iowa’s greatest learnings as a state was that “we did it to ourselves” • That is, most of the restrictions we perceived as barriers to changing what we were doing – they were self imposed by our state’s interpretation of the Federal Law and Regulations
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.304 • Non discriminatory on a racial or cultural basis • Administered in child's native language • Validated for specific purpose for which they are used • Administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.304 • No single procedure may be used for determining an appropriate education • Using technically sound instruments • The evaluation must be conducted by a multidisciplinary team • Include assessments to assess educational need - not just IQ • The child must be assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.304 • The evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child special education and related services needs • Assessment tools and strategies that provide relevant information in determining the educational needs of the child are provided
Federal Law and Regs are Prescriptive About Few Things in Assessment and Intervention §300.304 • A variety of assessment tools and strategies are used to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the child... • That may assist in determining the content of the child’s IEP, including information related to enabling the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum
However….. • Your state may require specific things • Iowa’s learnings - we did it to ourselves • How we interpret federal law at a state level has profound impact on the things we do day to day in our schools
What Happened: Assessments Evaluation type, frequency, and percentage of total assessments in Heartland AEA 11 1997-2002
If we don’t use IQ tests in identification of disability, will families still have access to external agencies that need these data (e.g., SSI, Voc. Rehab)? • Generally yes • It is important for the educational system to be working with community, state and federal agencies to ensure access • What is your system’s responsibility to provide other systems with data? • Think how you can influence this process…
Cognitive processing is part of the SLD definition in the IDEIA statute, shouldn’t we be assessing cognitive processing as part of our LD comprehensive assessments?
Answer • The Department does not believe that an assessment of psychological or cognitive processing should be required in determining whether a child has an SLD. There is no current evidence that such assessments are necessary or sufficient for identifying SLD. Further, in many cases, these assessments have not been used to make appropriate intervention decisions. However, § 300.309(a)(2)(ii) permits, but does not require, consideration of a pattern of strengths or weaknesses, or both, relative to intellectual development, if the evaluation group considers that information relevant to an identification of SLD. In many cases, though, assessments of cognitive processes simply add to the testing burden and do not contribute to interventions. As summarized in the research consensus from the OSEP Learning Disability Summit (Bradley, Danielson, and Hallahan, 2002), ‘‘Although processing deficits have been linked to some SLD (e.g., phonological processing and reading), direct links with other processes have not been established. Currently, available methods for measuring many processing difficulties are inadequate. Therefore, systematically measuring processing difficulties and their link to treatment is not yet feasible * * *. Processing deficits should be eliminated from the criteria for classification * * *.’’ (p. 797). Concerns about the absence of evidence for relations of cognitive discrepancy and SLD for identification go back to Bijou (1942; 4 see Kavale, 2002). Cronbach (1957) characterized the search for aptitude by treatment interactions as a ‘‘hall of mirrors,’’ a situation that has not improved over the past few years as different approaches to assessment of cognitive processes have emerged (Fletcher et al., 2005; Reschly & Tilly, 1999)
References Bradley, R., Danielson, L., & Hallahan, D.P. (Eds.). (2002). Identification of learning disabilities: Research to practice. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Bijou, S.W. (1942). The psychometric pattern approach as an aid to clinical assessment—a review. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 46, 354–362. Kavale, K. (2002). Discrepancy models in the identification of learning disabilities. In R. Bradley, L. Danielson, & D.P. Hallahan (Eds.). Identification of learning disabilities: Research to practice (pp. 370–371). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Cronbach, L.J. (1957). The two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 12, 671–684. Fletcher, J.M., Denton, C., & Francis, D.J. (2005). Validity of alternative approaches for the identification of LD: Operationalizing unexpected underachievement. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38, 545–552; Reschly, D.J., & Tilly, W.D. (1999). Reform trends and system design alternatives. In D.J. Reschly, W.D. Tilly, III, and J.P. Grimes (Eds.). Special education in transition: Functional assessment and noncategorical programming. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
A Few Key Clarifications From the USDE • Question: Many commenters requested more detail and specific guidelines on RTI models, such as information on who initiates the RTI process and who should be involved in the process; how one ensures there is a strong leader for the RTI process; the skills needed to implement RTI models; the role of the general education teacher; how to determine that a child is not responsive to instruction, particularly a child with cultural and linguistic differences; the number of different types of interventions to be tried; the responsibility for monitoring progress; the measurement of treatment integrity; and ways to document progress.
Answer • There are many RTI models and the regulations are written to accommodate the many different models that are currently in use. The Department does not mandate or endorse any particular model. Rather, the regulations provide States with the flexibility to adopt criteria that best meet local needs. Language that is more specific or prescriptive would not be appropriate. For example, while we recognize that rate of learning is often a key variable in assessing a child’s response to intervention, it would not be appropriate for the regulations to set a standard for responsiveness or improvement in the rate of learning. As we discussed earlier in this section, we do not believe these regulations will result in significant increases in the number of children identified with SLD.
Is the intent of RtI identification of LD kids? • No • The goal of RtI is to deliver evidence-based interventions and the second is to use students’ response to those interventions as a basis for determining instructional needs and intensity (NASDSE, 2006) • Data from RtI practices can be used for a variety of purposes, including as ONE COMPONENT of the data that may be collected for special education identification
Entitlement for Special Education Assessment and Progress Data From Problem Solving Process Group and Individual Interventions Educational Progress Discrepancy Instructional Needs Convergence of Data from a Variety of Sources
What are the major phases of RtI Implementation? • Consensus Building • Infrastructure Building • Implementation
In a 3-tier model, you said that tier 3 is not “just” special education, can you explain? • Significant problems if we do this • Tier 3 is the most intense level of intervention - not special education. A student who does not respond to these intense interventions MAY qualify for special education: • either the intensity or type of intervention required to improve student performance either exceeds the resources in general education or • are not available in general education settings • There are students with intensive learning needs that will not qualify for SPED • ELL • Not exposed to SBRR C and I • Talented and gifted
Isn’t RtI just another way of doing prereferral intervention? • RtI is more than prereferal services • It is a comprehensive service delivery system that requires significant changes in how a school serves all students. • When thought of as a prereferral system, it remains the province of special education and the desired integration of general education and special education services around the goal of enhanced outcomes for all students will not be achieved • Prereferral implies “referral” • Can be perceived by the system as “the new way to get kids in SPED”
Doesn’t implementing RtI move us toward a noncategorical special education system? • No • The issues of RtI and Noncategorical are separate issues • You can have one and not the other
Possible Systems Categorical Noncategorical RtI Yes Yes Given new Regs, it is unclear What “not Rti” Is and if that’spossible. Let’s take a look… Probably Not Not RtI
Within Person Stuff To Diagnose LD, We Must 300.309 • (a) The group described in § 300.306 may determine that a child has a specific learning disability, as defined in § 300.8(c)(10), if— • (1) The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child’s age or State-approved grade-level standards • (i) Oral expression. • (ii) Listening comprehension. • (iii) Written expression. • (iv) Basic reading skill. • (v) Reading fluency skills. • (vi) Reading comprehension. • (vii) Mathematics calculation. • (viii) Mathematics problem solving.
Within or Between Person Stuff To Diagnose LD, We Must 300.309 • (2)(i) The child does not make sufficient progress to meet age or State approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section when using a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention; • or (ii) The child exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, using appropriate assessments, consistent with §§ 300.304 and 300.305;
RtI Stuff To Diagnose LD, We Must 300.309 • (b) To ensure that underachievement in a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, the group must consider, as part of the evaluation described in §§ 300.304 through 300.306— • (1) Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as a part of, the referral process, the child was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel; and • (2) Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provided to the child’s parents.
RtI Stuff To Diagnose LD, We Must 300.309 • (c) The public agency must promptly request parental consent to evaluate the child to determine if the child needs special education and related services, and must adhere to the timeframes described in §§ 300.301 and 300.303, unless extended by mutual written agreement of the child’s parents and a group of qualified professionals, as described in § 300.306(a)(1)— • (1) If, prior to a referral, a child has not made adequate progress after an appropriate period of time when provided instruction, as described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section; and • (2) Whenever a child is referred for an evaluation. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e–3; 1401(30); 1414(b)(6))
Since RtI is new, shouldn’t we be moving slowly? After all, the old system wasn’t all that bad. • According to at multiple consensus reports, the old system WAS that bad • Wait to fail • Delaying effective treatment • Use of less than research-based strategies • Progress not monitored systematically • Many, many children remain nonreaders
Which is better, a problem solving system or a standard treatment protocol? Which should we implement? • This question is a red herring • The answer is: Both • Putting them in competition misses the point.
Results Monitoring Addl. Diagnostic Assessment Instruction All Students at a grade level Individualized Intensive Individual Diagnostic Intensive 1-5% weekly Small Group Differen- tiated By Skill Supplemental 5-10% Group Diagnostic Universal Screening 2 times/month Core Winter Spring Fall None Continue With Core Instruction Grades Classroom Assessments Yearly ITBS/ITED 80-90% How Does it Fit Together? Group-Level Diagnostic Std. Treatment Protocol Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1
Results Monitoring Addl. Diagnostic Assessment Instruction All Students at a grade level Individualized Intensive Individual Diagnostic Intensive 1-5% 2x weekly Small Group, all less than proficient students get the same, balanced, research-validated instruction Supplemental 5-10% None Universal Screening 2-4 times/month Core Winter Spring Fall None Continue With Core Instruction Grades Classroom Assessments Yearly ITBS/ITED 80-90% How Does it Fit Together? Uniform Standard Treatment Protocol Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 1
Where can I go to get more information on individual skills assessment related to instructional programming? • A really good sources is Ken Howell’s work • Howell, K & Nolet, V. (1999). Curriculum-Based Evaluation - Teaching and Decision Making. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole. • NASP has a LOT of resources: • Shinn, M. R., Walker, H. M., & Stoner, G. (Eds.) (2002). Interventions for academic and behavior problems II: Preventive and remedial approaches. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
Isn’t the research base on RtI limited to beginning reading? • No • We know most about reading • The research is catching up with math • We have a lot of information on RtI in social-emotional-behavioral areas • It is called Positive Behavior Supports • A substantial body of research exists to demonstrate the impact of an RtI model on the current system (e.g., referral rates, risk indices) as well as student variables (e.g., achievement). Fewer studies exist on the long-term outcomes for students from both “models.”