Evaluating the Use of RTI to Identify SLD: A Survey of State Policy, Procedures, Data Collection, and Administrator Perceptions

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As it has become a prominent feature in the identification of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), response to intervention (RTI) has generated significant interest and, in some respects, controversy regarding assessment and attendant procedures. In the present study, the authors surveyed state directors of special education (n = 31) to examine (a) the degree to which RTI policies and recommended practices are transmitted between state and local agencies, including those related to referrals of low achieving (i.e., “non-responsive”) students for a comprehensive evaluation; (b) communication with parents; and (c) their perceptions of the impact of RTI insofar as SLD identification is concerned. Results reflect disparities among many states and their districts in terms of the procedures used, data collected, and whether the effectiveness of RTI is evaluated. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.