Literature Review Chapter: Intervention Effectiveness Response to Instruction

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[. . .] Working with the RTI interventions are: (1) District general educators; (2) reading teachers; (3)special education resource specialists; and (4) the speech-language pathologist. At the end of the program, the children will have received "45 hours of intense, systematic, scientifically-based reading instruction in small groups. " (International Reading Program, 2011) Program results are stated as being "impressive." (International Reading Program, 2011) Specifically reported are the following findings:

(1) One hundred twenty-three fourth- and fifth-graders who lagged two to three years in reading have demonstrated statistically significant improvement as measured by GRADE, with gains representing more than a year's reading level growth in just nine weeks.

(2) These students have also improved on statewide assessments. Most gratifying is that over two years, of the 123 students who participated in the program, only eight, or about 6%, have been identified as special education students. (International Reading Program, 2011)

It is additionally reported that El Ranchos RTI program was acknowledged by the California Schools Boards Association's Golden Bell Award in 2004. It is important to note the statement of Reading First Coordinator Roberta Gonzalez as follows:

"Struggling readers do not become the responsibility of a resource specialist; rather, all teachers of reading draw upon their professional knowledge and skills to ensure that even the most struggling reader receives a quality instructional program that will help him/her succeed. Perhaps most importantly, implementation of the RTI program necessitates a paradigm shift in how reading teachers approach instruction for struggling readers. All too often, there is a tendency to slow down instruction for students that are experiencing difficulty with learning to read. RTI recognizes the importance of maintaining a rigorous instructional pace for these students. By moving through the 17 program activities in an hour, the reading teacher ensures that students remain engaged in sufficient learning experiences to progress in their reading skills and abilities." (International Reading Program, 2011)

A Second Success Story

In another success story, it is related in the literature and specifically that realized by Pella Community School District in Iowa who reports "Alarming statistics on how ill prepared at-risk kindergarten children were to learn reading motivated Pella to revamp its reading program to the more encompassing RTI approach. Pella focused on diagnostic interventions to improve students' reading fluency and meet their comprehension needs. Of special concern were readers who were slightly behind in their development, but rarely qualified to receive assistance until they fell even further behind. Pella began phasing in its RTI-type Comprehensive Assistance Program in 1999 to diagnose specific reading needs of each elementary student and provide precise, immediate interventions. " (International Reading Program, 2011) There are reported to be approximately 1000 children served in the Pella community School District. The program provides diagnostic information every week on the student beginning the first week of kindergarten and running through the last week in the child's fifth grade school year. All levels of need are addressed by interventions in the range beginning with special education and ending with gifted students so there is no group of students left out of needed interventions. ( International Reading Program, 2011) Direct instruction is included with assistance coming from many interventional helpers including volunteers from the community. The results are quite impressive as reported is a reading proficiency rise in levels for fourth grade to 92% of the Iowa's Basic Skills from the previously reported 84.2% with a rise influencing rates from 10 to 20 words per minute and increases in early literacy proficiency rates are by 27%. Included in program components are the following:

(1) Assessment system: This is designed to furnish staff with "real-time" data on student progress, allowing staff to place students in the program according to testing results, before students fall significantly behind. Pella assesses students weekly. Their evaluations include phonemic awareness (DIBELS); fluency and accuracy (DIBELS, quarterly probes); phonics; and comprehension Pella uses DIBELS and their own system that stores and analyzes student progress data. Notes Lowell Ernst, Pella's curriculum coordinator, "Without the access and use of real-time data there is no way to analyze individual student progress at the same time as system effectiveness."

(2) Community and parent involvement: A "literacy army" of 150-trained volunteers provides reading assistance to individuals and groups of students. Trained pre-service teachers provide small-group literacy instruction. Community members from the hospital to the local media are involved in promoting early literacy. Pella's Early Literacy Mentoring Association helps make all parents aware of the importance of doing literacy activities with children from birth to age five. The Association presents educational seminars and prepares literacy kits that can be checked out from the public library. Reaching out for community involvement helped secure parent cooperation and volunteers to move the program to greater success. The community buy-in helped Pella overcome typical challenges that included finding and training volunteers to help in "tier 1" interventions; hiring assistants; and instituting new professional development, especially for use of DIBELS and other real-time data collection efforts; and (3) Adjustments for reading teachers: Reading teachers developed and shared with staff strategies to match students' unique needs. Students are instructed through one-on-one tutoring and small groups within the classroom setting. Reading teachers have increased their attention to databased decision making and have become accustomed to a variety of people working with their students. All teachers changed their system of delivery by pulling students together with similar needs rather than similar schedules. Notes reading teacher Angie Anthony, "My job is easier because I have more options for serving each student. Having the students grouped according to needs helps me focus on each student and concentrate on quality instruction." (International Reading Program, 2011)

It is reported that an effective student data-management system for storing and accessing student progress data is needed by the school district if success is to be realized through the RTI program. In addition, needed is an administrative assistance to perform data entry as well as is training, which is stated as "essential in learning strategies for supplemental and intensive instruction." (International Reading Program, 2011) In addition, it is reported that the district has "part-time coordinators for our volunteer program and our pre-service teacher program help teachers to spend less time organizing efforts." (International Reading Program, 2011) Also required are "sufficient materials and technology" which assisting in the supplementation of instruction. (International Reading Program, 2011)

Top Three Performing California School Districts

In a separate report entitled "A Report Card on District Achievement: How Low-income, African-American, and Latino Students Fare in California School Districts" it is reported that the three highest achieving schools note the following strategies:

(1) Strong, supportive leadership that establishes a singular focus on excellence in instruction and high expectations for student performance. A focus on standards based instruction, common assessment, and coordinated pacing is aligned at the district offices, with the districts providing supports to their school sites. Districts credit deep professional development and staff collaboration, including professional learning communities (PLCs), with building teacher and principal capacity to function more productively toward a common, student-focused goal.

2. Second, these districts report a culture of data use to inform decision-making. Data is used to inform instruction, with teachers using frequent benchmark assessments to adjust and target their instruction. Data use at the classroom level is supported by investments in technology, which help deliver a constant stream of information on student achievement to teachers and principals. District leaders reportedly use data to evaluate programs and determine where funds need to be targeted, and from where funds may be cut. These districts reportedly embrace the use of data to inform teacher evaluation and development.

(3) All three districts report a focus on directing extra supports, investments, and the very best staff to schools serving high-need students. These districts share that they have targeted top talent, including principals and teachers, to these schools. They have also made investments in instructional support staff, technology aids (such as voice amplifiers and computer-based instructional programs), and extra teacher professional development to support English learners and students who are below grade level. (The Education Trust West, 2011)

Summary of Literature Review

The key of a successful RTI program appears to be, from the literature reviewed in this study, that of collaboration and system-wide commitment in addition to properly resourcing and technology data management.


Benchmark interventions -- reinforcement (2011) Department of Education. Retrieved from:

Case Study: El Rancho Unified School District in Pico Rivera, California (2011) International Reading Program. Retrieved from:

Case Study: Pella Community School District, Iowa (2011) International Reading Program. Retrieved from:

Implications for Reading Teachers in Response To Intervention (RTI) (2011) International Reading Program. Retrieved from:

Intensive interventions -- teaching (2011) Department of Education. Retrieved from:

Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTl2) (2011) California Department of Education. Retrieved from:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Intervention Effectiveness Response to Instruction.  (2011, December 17).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from

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"Intervention Effectiveness Response to Instruction."  17 December 2011.  Web.  20 May 2019. <>.

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"Intervention Effectiveness Response to Instruction."  December 17, 2011.  Accessed May 20, 2019.