With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 and revisions of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools have implemented the pre-referral process encouraging individual based level of education for a particular student. Historically, before recent updates to state and federal special education guidelines, students typically received special attention to their specific needs through parent conferences, generic observations, a few general intervention techniques, psychological evaluation, or simply a review of report cards, social records.
Since the implementation of IDEA, students are now receiving proactive approaches to match his or her level of need. Two such approaches of evaluating individual students are Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). Both PBS and RTI are structured on a different model, but both have the same goals. Each intervention approach takes into account components and accounts for critical universal factors that target a specific individual, group, or level.
These two models offer a range of interventions that are scientifically applied to a student, based on the student’s level of needs through previous monitoring in the classroom. Response to Intervention (RTI) is defined as “the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important educational decisions” (Batsche et al. , 2006).
RTI has emerged as the more popular of the two intervention model’s and has been accepted by most schools in the United States, as the new way of thinking about early intervention and identifying a child’s educational disability. The RTI approach considers the application of an individual student’s difficulties in schools by evaluating student’s environment and then provides intervention as soon as the student shows signs difficulty, lack of focus, or academic problems. The goal of RTI is to ensure all students receive the highest quality of education and instruction and reduce any possible false referrals to unnecessary classes, or programs.
RTI has a three tier model for also eliminating unqualified teachers as a reason for a student’s lack of performance, or grades. For example in, tier I of the three modeled tier, teachers are required to implement different teaching techniques in order to gauge a student’s performance and focus toward learning. This form of teaching is a method only most qualified teachers can provide in the RTI process. Tier one is described as a universal assessment using formal and informal instructional techniques.
Tier two targets students that have not made progress in a given amount of time and are monitored frequently. These students are considered as having some academic weakness. Tier three is more of an intensive intervention and for students that do not respond to instruction form tier two. Tier three students may be eligible for special education classes and programs. When a student is evaluated and qualifies for tier three, the students will be specially monitored and eventually reviewed for receiving an individual educational program (IEP).
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), is based more on a model of how to solve inappropriate behavior and prevent that behavior through teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. “Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a process for creating school environments that are more predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals. For some schools, PBIS will enhance their current systems and practices, for others it will radically change the culture for the better” (www. cms. k12. nc. us).
Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a systemic approach to proactive, school-wide behavior based on a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. “The concept of PBIS has been researched in education for approximately 15 years” (www. cms. k12. nc. us) and has been implemented successfully in thousands of schools in over 40 states. PBIS applies evidence-based programs, practices and strategies for all students to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish a positive school culture.
Schools implementing PBIS build on existing strengths, complementing and organizing current programming and strategies. The PBIS model had resulted in dramatic reductions in disciplinary interventions and increases in academic achievement. Data-based decision making is a hallmark of PBIS and is a scientific approach to the pre-referral process to special education. There are many ways to define, or explain the concepts of PBIS and RTI, but each provides a specific three tiered pre-referral process to special education that will enhance the quality of life for students participating in these interventions.
Whichever intervention a student is placed, he, or she should receive a higher quality education and instruction. Elements common in these models indicate a system of intervention based on a student’s performance that will indicated whether there is a legitimate learning disability, not just the need for additional instruction for no reason. References RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION. (2006). In Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of the Handicapped and Other Exceptional Children and Adults. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from: http:library. gcu. edu:2048/login? qurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. cred oreference.
com/entry/ wileyse/response_to_intervention CPI Educate. Empower. Enrich. (2012). Retrieved May 23, 2012, from: http://www. crisisprevention. com/Resources/Knowledge-Base/Positive-Behavior-Support SEDL Advancing research, improving education (2012). Retrieved May 23, 2012, from : http://www. sedl. org/pubs/sedl-letter/v19n02/rti. html CMS Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. (2011). Retrieved May 23, 2012, from: http://www. cms. k12. nc. us/cmsdepartments/PBIS/Pages/default. aspx Response to Intervention (2012). Retrieved May 23, 2012, from: http://www. nasponline. org/resources/handouts/revisedPDFs/rtiprimer. pdf