America’s educational system
America’s educational system
As America’s educational system continues to strengthen and develop, a focus on individualized instruction and intervention within the regular education classroom has been brought forth in an attempt to keep struggling students from falling behind. This specific additional instruction and intervention, known as Response to Intervention in most states (RtI), is not only viewed as a push towards the improvement of education for all students, but is also being used as the means by which decisions regarding a student’s special education eligibility is based upon.
However, for such a program to ultimately be beneficial, it will be up to the schools to ensure that the education professionals are putting forth significant effort in using the most appropriate type of intervention for that specific student. It will be the RtI team’s duty to define the student’s problem, plan an intervention, implement the intervention, and regularly evaluate the student’s progress (Martinez & Young, 2011, p. 44). Various interventions should be attempted if the scheduled improvement is not initially apparent. Statement of the Problem
The groundbreaking passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975, the long overdue act which provided official protection of the rights and individual needs of those with disabilities within the educational system, sparked the remarkable increase of students being quickly diagnosed with a learning disability in whatever subject the specific student was struggling in (Brady, Bucholz, Duffy, Goodman, & Hazelkorn, 2011, p. 18). It was also noted that the majority of this increase in special education was found to be packed with minority students due to the deficient amount of teacher cultural awareness within the classroom.
The special education identification method of Response to Intervention came about as education personnel searched for appropriate ways to identify students who genuinely required special education and attempted to remove the subjectivity from the identification process that had caused the previous increase (Brady, Bucholz, Duffy, Goodman, & Hazelkorn, 2011, p. 18). Instead of instinctively assuming that a struggling student has an LD, therefore immediately referring him or her for special education, educators need to attempt to reach this student by using other methods of instruction that are research-based and proven to be highly-effective. Purpose of the Study
This paper is designed to inform the readers about the core principals of Response to Intervention, the roles of school personnel, effective implementation, how educators are reacting to the process, and how RtI is filtering into the behavioral domains of the classroom. Both positive and negative aspects of Response to Intervention will be presented. The research is current and needs to be added to the available body of knowledge. Significance of the Problem
Providing quality education to the children of this nation will hopefully always be unquestionably significant to society. The growth and development of society essentially relies on such provision. Considering this reality, the actual effort an educator makes in order to guarantee that each individual child is presented with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential academically will not only affect this individual child’s future, but the future of all of America. With the proper implementation of the Response to Intervention framework within the nation’s educational system, the appropriate exertion of effort from educators can be ensured.
This article’s content was taken from database research using scholarly sources. It was researched and written in a period of 15 weeks with the required minimum of 15 pages but limited to 20. Response to Intervention is the structured process implemented by education personnel in which individualized instruction and intervention is provided for students who are struggling either academically or behaviorally (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.44). RtI’s purpose is also to serve in the early identification and preventative intervention process with hopes of ultimately reducing the amount of inappropriate special education referrals that are issued due to poor instruction.
In order to construct a sound Response to Intervention framework within a school, the core principles of RtI need to be efficiently developed. Attention to each of Rudebusch’s principles from The Source for RTI: Response to Intervention will help to ensure a more successful intervention process and should be used as a guide for educators. These principles include: We can effectively teach all children
Use a multi-tier model of service delivery
Use a problem-solving method to make decisions
Use research based, scientifically validated instruction and intervention Monitor student progress to shape instruction
Make decisions by using student performance data
Use assessment for a variety of purposes (Rudebusch, 2008, p.20). As the general educator develops and constructs his or her own plan within the classroom, it is important that he or she fully understand that effectively teaching all kinds of children is possible. Thanks to No Child Left Behind (2001), teachers are now expected to deliver high-quality instruction to their students at all times as well as be held accountable for their student’s achievement (Osborne & Russo, 2008, p.17). To push for student achievement, and for high-quality instruction to occur, teachers need to implement both explicit and systematic instruction. This explicit instruction is especially important in the beginning stages of the widely-followed model of teaching provided within the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Rudebusch states; “The instructional sequence gradually moves each student from teacher-dependence to learning-independence.
The teacher focuses the lesson with explicit instruction, uses guided instruction and student teamwork to practice the skills, and finally, allows students to demonstrate independent mastery of the skill.” Teacher responsibility decreases as student responsibility increases. This process also helps children in developing crucial self-regulated learning skills. Self-regulation can be defined as “the child’s capacity to plan, guide, and monitor his or her behavior from within and flexibly according to changing circumstances,” (Bramer, 2011, p.41). The development of this proficiency is critical as it will push the child to take control of his or her own learning helping to bring about a sense of independence which is the main focus of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. High-quality instruction has been filtered through the self-regulated learner’s education.
The second core principle of RtI provided by Rudebusch establishes the significance of early intervention. As soon as a child reveals any signs or symptoms regarding academic or behavioral difficulties to come, the educator is to intervene in order to attempt to keep the student on a similar pace compared to others in his or her same grade (Rudebusch, 2008, p.22). Students who receive such assistance early have been known to need fewer special education services as well as fewer rehabilitative services throughout the entirety of their education.
The U.S. Department of Education states that intervening during preschool years can “enhance the child’s development, provide support and assistance to the family, and maximize the child’s and family’s benefit to society” (Rudebusch, 2008, p.22). If the child is identified at an early age then there is a greater possibility that they will benefit from the intervention strategies that are designed to meet their personal needs. Early intervention is also supported legislatively as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) addresses the guidelines. Part C of IDEA “addresses services for children from birth to age 3 and their families, and section 619 of Part B…covers services for children ages 3 to 5,” (Bruder, 2010, p.339).
Using a multi-tier model of service delivery allows struggling students to be provided with increasing levels of support in regards to their specific areas of difficulty. Each level varies in time consumption, intensity, and the amount of students receiving intervention. Whether they are receiving intervention in small structured groups using specific organized programs, or more intensive, individualized intervention that is provided for longer periods of time, this model of service delivery has been constructed to ultimately prevent future academic and/or behavioral problems, as well as assist in identifying students who actually posses specific learning disabilities (Rudebusch, 2008, p.23). RtI models are typically created with at least three tiers. From the description provided by Amy Detgen, Mika Yamashita, Brittany Davis, and Sara Wraight, in State Policies and Procedures on Response to Intervention in the Midwest Region, we are provided with a brief description and purpose of each tier: Tier 1: Evidence-based instruction provided to all students in the general education classroom.
Student progress is continually monitored. Tier 2: Small-group supplemental instruction provided to students who fail to make adequate progress in the general classroom. Programs and strategies are designed to supplement tier 1 instruction. Tier 3: Specialized and individualized instruction provided to students who are not responding to tier 2 interventions. Throughout each of these tiers, the progress of each individual student is monitored as data is collected and evaluated.
This process is completed in order to ensure that the constructed intervention is proving to be effective for the targeted student. If the student continues to underachieve and show no progress, despite the various “high-quality instruction and targeted interventions” that have been provided, than this student may possess a specific learning disability (Brady, Bucholz, Duffy, Goodman, & Hazelkorn, 2011, p. 18). All remaining RtI related decisions have been left up to the schools, such as “…how many tiers are needed; movement from one tier to the next and duration, frequency, and timing of the interventions; and how screening for secondary intervention should occur…” (Brady, Bucholz, Duffy, Goodman, & Hazelkorn, 2011, p. 19).
Rudebusch’s fourth RtI core principle consists of using an appropriate problem-solving method when making decisions within this multi-tiered model. This will aid in determining the specific student’s needs, as well as continue to develop and help evaluate student responsiveness to the actual intervention being provided. An efficient problem-solving process that should be used within the RtI framework should involve a variety of professionals’ skills and opinions in order to create the most appropriate intervention for the child in question. This process should involve: using measurable terms when defining the problem;
effectively analyzing the problem and its variables;
constructing a plan that will appropriately address the problem; putting the plan into action;
evaluating the ultimate effectiveness of the plan (Rudebusch, 2008, p.24). Such a problem-solving process will contribute to the validity of a child’s individual plan as each step will help to ensure that appropriate decisions are being made. Being able to effectively and efficiently solve RtI problems when they arise is of great importance as the child’s first constructed plan will not always be successful.
In order for Response to Intervention to bring forth the amount of efficiency that it is capable of, it is essential that educators use “research-based, scientifically validated instruction and intervention” (Rudebusch, 2008, p.24). In No Child Left Behind (2001), scientifically-based researched is defined as “…research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs” (Zucker, 2004). Using this type of instruction for your students will be critical for their ultimate academic success. Another important quality to the highly-effective teacher’s style of instruction is differentiation. As the student population continues to expand and diversify, and as it is now known that not all students learn in the same manner or are at the same level in regards to their intelligence, differentiated instruction is crucial so that all types of learners can be met.
Joan Van Bramer (2011) declares in Teacher Talk and Assistance and Self-Regulated Learning within the Context of RtI and Explicit and Systematic Teaching, that, “In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin where students are, not the front of the curriculum guide…In differentiated classrooms, teachers provide specific ways for each individual to learn as deeply as possible and as quickly as possible, without assuming one’s student’s road map for learning is identical to anyone else’s…Differentiated classrooms feel right to students who learn in different ways and at different rates and who bring to school different talents and interests…Differentiated instruction is the heart and soul of Tier 1, a teaching model necessitated by the wide reading range represented in each classroom.”
Providing research-based instruction as well as differentiation on all three tiers can set in motion positive progress from each and every student. In the sixth, seventh, and eighth RtI core principles, Rudebusch highlights the importance of monitoring student progress in order to effectively shape instruction. Decisions made should be based on the student performance data that has been consistently collected from this progress monitoring. Rudebusch also stresses the usefulness of assessments when checking progress.
This progress-monitoring is the most suitable way in which an educator can determine whether or not the specific intervention being provided to the child is actually effective. By monitoring student progress, educators can understand and genuinely witness which types of instruction the child has positively responded to as improvement in their targeted area has been documented. This monitoring can also point out ineffective instruction as a child’s lack of improvement would be noticed. This is equally important as unproductive intervention should be put to an end or altered in a way which will hopefully meet the student’s previously denied needs.
Using the collected performance data to identify the most appropriate methods of intervention, as well as using a variety of specialized judgment from the professionals involved, and using “scientifically validated evidence and information about a student,” are the foundations of the previously mentioned RtI problem-solving process (Rudebusch, 2008, p.25). To continue making the most efficient decisions in regards to student academic and behavioral intervention needs, the schools systems need to: continually collect student data;
be able to pull valuable information from the data concerning student needs; use this data to “make informed instructional decisions at every level of the RtI framework,” (Rudebusch, 2008, p.25). Determining student needs from the data collected from progress monitoring is a reliable way to ensure that the selected intervention for said child is actually helping the child to improve in their targeted area of struggle. Using assessments within this progress monitoring is also another effective way to measure improvement. Assessments are also initially used to screen those children who are believed to not be making appropriate academic or behavior progress before intervention has even begun.
Effective implementation of the Response to Intervention program within schools is key if success is to be witnessed among those struggling students who are participating within the program. In order for effective implementation to occur, the foundation of the RtI framework needs to not only be based upon its eight core principles, but also needs the appropriate amount of dedication and commitment from the school personnel who are involved in the process. There are seven essential skills and competencies identified by Rita Bean and Jennifer Lillenstein in Response to Intervention and the Changing Roles of Schoolwide Personnel that education related professionals need to possess to help ensure the success of RtI within the schools. These seven proficiencies are: in-depth knowledge of literacy development and instruction;
an understanding of how to collect and interpret data for instructional decision making; being able to differentiate one’s instruction;
a willingness to collaborate and work successfully with others; a commitment to Lifelong Learning;
possessing leadership skills;
a facility to work with technology (Bean & Lellenstein, 2012, p.493-497). With the workings of RtI within the schools, it is now being found important for all school personnel to understand the “components of reading acquisition” and to be able to effectively provide evidence-based literacy instruction (Bean & Lellenstein, 2012, p.494). Principals viewed this knowledge as a way to better understand their educator’s struggles and concerns, while specialized personnel, such as special educators and psychologists, who formally did not need to possess such knowledge, now find the understanding of the literacy curriculum to be of great significance. All RtI school personnel involved and knowledgeable in reading and literacy education have a better chance of helping those students who are struggling with language arts eventually reach their full potential.
As well as understanding the importance of effective literacy instruction, school personnel also need to be able to collect, interpret, and use the data they pull together from monitoring student progress to construct further instruction and intervention. Teachers need to understand that certain assessments might not be the most appropriate choice for one child while it could be the most effective for another. A wide variety of ways to assess students needs to be used, such as teacher observations and collaboration, rubrics, and student work samples, in order to truly grasp what the student is struggling with. “To use data effectively, there is a need for shared expertise, with reading specialists, principals, and psychologists offering their expertise in psychometrics, instruction, and so on,” (Bean & Lellenstein, 2012, p.495). With school personnel interpreting data effectively and using such information to construct the most appropriate instruction and intervention for the targeted student, the likelihood that the student will benefit from the RtI process is much greater.
The ability to differentiate instruction, as mentioned previously, is extremely significant to the implementation of RtI, and yet is one of the most difficult factors to achieve. However, successful differentiation is possible when educators take the time to seek out the most effective way to reach the child, understanding that all children learn differently. The support of differentiated instruction can be carried out by principals who help to develop staff schedules that will ultimately increase the availability and numbers of personnel available to aid in the classroom. These professionals can include special educators, reading specialists, or English language learning teachers. Using such professionals within the RtI process will only benefit those struggling students and help to differentiate the kind of instruction they will receive. This will aid in discovering the best way to reach each child academically.
Another important ability school personnel needs to posses in order to carry out RtI effectively is the ability to collaborate positively with one another. Being able to work with others toward a common goal is extremely important, and regardless of the situation, this common goal should always be to discover the most efficient way to educate the child in question. Jennifer Lillenstein and Rita Bean (2012) state, in regards to collaboration within the classroom, that “there was consensus that to collaborate effectively, there must be a sharing of and value for diverse perspectives and preparation to attain the larger goal of enhanced instructional decision making and improved student outcomes.”
By effectively working with one another in an attempt to make the best decisions in regards to what the targeted student needs, the educators establish joint responsibility for the student. From this joint responsibility, the educators will be able to discuss the student’s strengths and weaknesses when making decisions concerning instruction (Bean & Lillenstein, 2012, p.495). Efficient collaboration between those who are a part of the RtI process is critical if what is best for the targeted student is truly in question. This consistent collaboration also provides opportunities for education professionals to learn from one another as they maintain and inspire their commitment to lifelong learning. Educators can always learn from the strategies, thought processes, and experiences of their co-workers.
The final two skills and/or competencies mentioned by Rita Bean and Jennifer Lillenstein (2012) are leadership qualities and competency within the field of educational technology. Leadership qualities can involve a variety of skills, such as interpersonal skills, communication skills (such as assertive communication), skills related to the principle of trust, and skills involving active listening and problem solving. Other important aspects of leadership qualities an educational professional should possess include being able to successfully collaborate with a team, and leading and participating in conversations with individuals or groups concerning pressing matters. During these times of discussion, a leader should be able to not only provide positive feedback to his or her fellow co-workers, but must also be able to provide critical feedback if necessary.
When critical feedback is taking place, a leader needs to treat his or her other co-workers with respect, be able to back up his or her claims with data and evidence, and should always keep the student’s best interests in mind. In regards to school technology, educators need to possess facility concerning these kinds of classroom advancements. Collecting data, monitoring the process of students, finding ideas for differentiated instruction, and learning more on one’s own are merely a few of the ways technology is now being used in the classroom. The collection, reviewing, and monitoring of student data and performance is critical to the success of their individualized RtI plan (Bean & Lillenstein, 2012, p.496).
To find out how schools are implementing the entire Response to Intervention process within the classroom, as well as how educators are responding to the process, a specific example is provided. In South Eastern Texas, an online survey in both rural and urban schools was completed. In Response to Intervention: How is it Practiced and Perceived?, by Rachel Martinez and Andria Young, the various aspects of RtI, as well as the results of the survey are examined. Ninety-nine educators completed this online survey in rural and urban schools in South Eastern Texas answering questions regarding the RtI process and their opinions about the procedure. The questions related to the RtI initiation practice, documentation of the student’s goals, data collection, intervention procedures, the resulting follow up decision process, and the educators’ overall opinions regarding the entire implementation.
In reviewing the results, it was discovered that 87% of the respondents stated that it is the general education teacher who initiates the RtI process for the struggling student (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.47). Seventy seven percent of the respondents indicated that this course of action is most often initiated after a student scores poorly on a school-wide screening test. Now that this student has been identified as one who will participate in the RtI process, an RtI Team is formed. This team usually consists primarily of the general education teacher, special education teacher, administrator, and a reading specialist. Only 34% of the respondents stated that the child’s parent was a part of the team (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.46).
In order for a child to be properly monitored, school personnel are to write specific academic goals concerning the student’s targeted areas and the amount of progress he or she is to make before a certain time period. These areas are to be operationally defined so that they can be continually examined (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.47). This is extremely significant to the RtI process as student progress needs to actually be seen in data form in order for the specific intervention to continue. Yet the comments left by the respondents concerning writing these measurable goals indicate that this is an area of weakness for educators and needs improvement.
Concerning the follow-up process, results indicate that a follow up meeting was usually held by the RtI Team in order to appropriately monitor a student’s progress. Seventy six percent of the respondents’ answers points towards the fact that at least half of the time students are making some sort of progress (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.49). Seventy one percent also indicated that students actually met their goals at least half of the time (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.49). If a student does not reach their goals, it is indicated that a new type of intervention is started and if progress is still not made, a special education referral is conducted. Yet the majority of the respondents, 74%, indicated that this eligibility is determined using a combination of RTI results and standardized testing data instead of just relying on RTI data alone (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.49).
This specific example has provided evidence of the positive results of RtI and that the greater part of the respondents involved in this study felt that such a process ultimately benefited students. Yet comments concerning how the process is perceived by educators in this area were not all entirely positive. Some educators indicated that the same students who were being put through this process were actually already being provided extra help by their teachers. There was also an overwhelming amount of complaints in regards to the time RtI paperwork and documentation takes (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.50). In Special Education Teacher’s Perceptions and Instructional practices in Response to Intervention Implementation, by Elizabeth Swanson, Michael Solis, Stephen Ciullo, and John W. McKenna, some similar complaints involving RtI are stated.
These negative aspects include scheduling challenges—as it is sometimes difficult to set aside a time in which all those who are required in the RtI process are available, the increased amount of paperwork necessary for each student, and the probability that additional staff may be needed. Despite these challenges, teachers find the early intervention opportunities, meeting the unique needs of each student, and the positive collaboration with other staff members to outweigh the previously mentioned negative features. The results of the specific study completed in the South Eastern Texas area indicate that the school personnel are consistently tending to the important components of the RTI process, despite such challenges, as they attempt to help each individual student reach their full potential academically.
As Response to Intervention continues to show success in regards to aiding students academically, the use of RtI to help students who struggle with the social, emotional, and behavioral aspects of school is now an option. Since this type of negative behavior can be associated with poor school-related outcomes, the use of RtI behavioral interventions may prevent further dire behavior as well as prevent the need for special education services. A specific example where such intervention took place is provided in Response to Intervention (RtI) in the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Domains: Current Challenges and Emerging Possibilities, by Elina Saeki, Shane R. Jimerson, James Earhart, Tyler Renshaw, Renee D. Singh, and Kaitlyn Stewert. This study uses RtI as a constructive approach for preventing and remedying emotional, social, and behavioral problems in students.
The study took place at a public elementary school in a midsized city in Southern California by a collaborative problem-solving team consisting of the school psychologist, the principal, university faculty supervisors, and school psychologist interns. The participants included 55 third-grade students from three separate classrooms who all participated in Universal Intervention (Tier I). During Tier I, the two school psychologist interns conducted impulse control lessons for the students and administered a specific assessment both before and after the intervention. At the conclusion of Tier 1, the teachers nominated nine students who would possibly benefit from further behavioral intervention within Tier II. One student was chosen from this group by the school psychologist to receive intensive intervention (Tier III) targeted to his specific emotional areas of difficulty (Saeki, Jimerson, Earhart, Hart, Renshaw, Singh, & Stewart, 2011 p.48).
In regards to the implemented Tier I Universal Intervention, 81% of the students improved their score on the assessment provided. For those receiving intervention at Tier II, four scores increased, one decreased, and two showed no change. The remaining two students were not present for either the pre- or post-assessment (Saeki, Jimerson, Earhart, Hart, Renshaw, Singh, & Stewart, 2011, p.50). However it must be stated that in this particular study the type of lessons provided to these children at this level were based on teacher recommendation and not on their actual testing scores. In regards to the child identified for targeted intervention, no pre- or post-test measures were actually conducted and the school psychologist’s clinical judgment was used. Yet the results were stated to be favorable concerning the child’s progress.
Bringing the RtI framework into the area of social, emotional, and behavioral issues among students, instead of only issuing such intervention in regards to their academic insufficiencies, is a way school personnel can provide additional support for those students who are at-risk but are not eligible for special education services. However, it is of great importance that educators use a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data and that the interpretation of both must be objective. In the previous example, teacher input was used as the main source concerning the identification of students who would be receiving Tier II and Tier III intervention (Saeki, Jimerson, Earhart, Hart, Renshaw, Singh, & Stewart, 2011 p.50). This specific example of how behavioral issues are being tended to by RtI is shown to have overall positive results. Yet every school who implements such a structure for behavioral purposes must use a multifaceted evaluation process to avoid strong subjectivity in the decision making procedures.
The implementation of the Response to Intervention program within classrooms, schools, and the entire educational system can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on those students who are struggling, either academically or behaviorally, when the process is executed in the proper manner. For this to occur, the eight core principles of RtI need to be apparent among educators and flourishing throughout the schools. These core principles include the understanding that all children can be taught effectively, the necessity of early intervention when possible, using a multi-tiered model of service delivery, using an effective problem-solving method to make decisions, using research based, scientifically validated instruction and intervention, monitoring student progress in order to shape instruction, making decisions involving implementation and instruction by using student performance data, and using the appropriate assessments for a variety of purposes when necessary (Rudebusch, 2008, p.20).
Each of these Response to Intervention aspects are critical to RtI’s strategic implementation and crucial to the ultimate success of the program. Behind the eight Response to Intervention core principles are the educational professionals who are following such guidelines and putting them into action. As RtI continues to grow and expand within the educational system, the various roles and tasks of school personnel also continue to develop. There are a mixture of skills and competencies that each educator should possess in order to carry out the RtI core principles effectively. These proficiencies include an in-depth knowledge of literacy development and instruction, an understanding of how to collect and interpret data for instructional decision making, the ability to differentiate one’s instruction, a willingness to collaborate and work successfully with others, a strong commitment to Lifelong Learning, various leadership qualities, and the ability to work with educational technology (Bean & Lellenstein, 2012, p.493-497).
RtI implementation will have a greater chance of success for its students if the educators involved grew to be knowledgeable and comfortable in each of the previously mentioned areas. A study conducted in South Eastern Texas provided an amount of insight in regards to how schools are implementing the Response to Intervention process. This study also presented the manner in which school personnel responded to the program. RtI initiation within the schools, documentation of student goals, collection of data, intervention procedures, follow up decisions, and the educators’ overall opinion concerning the entire process is reviewed (Martinez & Young, 2011, p.47). Although the study ultimately praises RtI for its effectiveness, complaints regarding the amount of paperwork, time, and documentation procedures were noted. South Eastern Texas is not the only area in which these complaints have been made.
Another source complains about the RtI scheduling challenges, the increased amount of paperwork, and the need for additional staff. Negative aspects aside, educators praised the early intervention opportunities, meeting the individual needs of each student, and the overall positive and informative collaboration with other co-workers. Since Response to Intervention has proven effective in aiding its participants academically, the use of RtI within the social and behavioral domains of the classroom is now an option. This behavior-driven intervention is used as a preventative measure as well as a remedy for those students who are already struggling with poor behavior. A study conducted in Southern California used this type of multi-tiered intervention to address some of the behavior issues taking place within the school as well as appropriately aiding those children who were struggling both emotionally and socially (Saeki, Jimerson, Earhart, Hart, Renshaw, Singh, & Stewart, 2011 p.50).
Although the results were deemed positive, the subjectivity of the educators in charge was questioned. Objectivity is a must if behavior-driven RtI is to truly address those who require the program. In conclusion, the Response to Intervention process is one that can benefit scores of struggling students if the structured program is adequately conducted by the professionals involved. In order for RtI success to occur, these professionals will need to consistently work together in discovering the most efficient way to sufficiently educate the students in question. Although the appropriate materials, specialists, and other intervention tools can be extremely significant to the RtI process, it is the distinguishing quality of effort that will ultimately hold the entire program together. If educators and other related school personnel do not exert the proper amount of effort in carrying out this process, then Response to Intervention will eventually be deemed worthless. It is up to the educators and school personnel involved in this program to help RtI genuinely reach its valuable potential.