Using a Response to Intervention (RTI) Framework to Improve Student Learning

Amy Elledge

As the U.S. Department of Education completes its fourth round of reviews of ESEA flexibility plan applications, more states and districts will have the opportunity to adapt federal program funds to improve teaching and learning. Education leaders need research-based tools to guide them implement their own plans and to help them learn from other state efforts.

A new guide from AIR explains how leaders can use a research-based framework for response to intervention (RTI) to improve learning for all students. The majority of states have some form of RTI initiative in place already. This guide can help states leverage existing initiatives to support the statewide school improvement efforts spelled out in their ESEA flexibility plans.

Report coverUsing a Response to Intervention (RTI) Framework to Improve Student Learning is the third guide in a series developed by AIR to help state and local policymakers and practitioners implement ESEA flexibility plans. AIR researchers reviewed the 35 approved plans to develop the Pocket Guide, which includes:

  • a description of the essential components of RTI; 
  • requirements for Principle 2 in the application for building state, district, and school capacity to improve learning in all schools—particularly low-performing schools and those with the largest achievement gaps;
  • discussion of how applications of a research-based RTI framework address Principle 2 in approved plans; and 
  • considerations (based on rigorous research) for the implementation of RTI frameworks to address the proposed reforms.

AIR’s Center on Response to Intervention provides technical assistance to build the capacity of states and districts in implementing and evaluating proven frameworks for RTI.