Jack Fletcher's Response to RTI Evaluation Report (2015)

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Jack Fletcher's summary and analysis of a response to intervention (RTI) evaluation report published in November 2015. The RTI evaluation report caused concern because it seemed to demonstrate that RTI was ineffective for improving reading in grades 1-3. Fletcher refutes this simplistic view of the report's findings and explains exactly what the report does show.

After summarizing the report's key findings and providing an analysis of what these findings mean, Fletcher provides educators with the report's implications. In this section, he discusses how the report illustrates the struggle schools experience in implementing RTI's essential components, including:

  • Using reliable and valid assessments;
  • Providing effective, research-based Tier I instruction;
  • Supplementing core instruction with more intensive interventions based on students' needs; and
  • Using highly qualified personnel to provide instruction and intervention.

Fletcher states:

"These findings should raise concerns about the implementation of RTI methods without external support from districts and states and the shifting of resources so that core instruction is enhanced and effective supplemental instruction is available. The fact that controlled studies of RTI show efficacy is promising, but RTI is not a short-term implementation that can be done out of a kit or box. The scaling issues remain significant and need to be taken seriously by administrators and policymakers."

Here's the reference for the original RTI evaluation report:

Balu, R., Zhu, P., Doolittle, F., Schiller, E., Jenkins, J., & Gersten, R. (2015). Evaluation of response to intervention practices for elementary school reading. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance.