Response to Intervention

Balfanz, Robert & Byrnes, Vaughn. (2006). Closing the Mathematics Achievement Gap in High-Poverty Middle Schools: Enablers and Constraints. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk.
This article uses longitudinal data from 4 cohorts of students at 3 Philadelphia Public Schools starting in 1996 through 2003 (grades 5 through 8) to evaluate factors related to students’ gains in mathematics achievement.  The schools were each implementing the Talent Development Middle School model, a model developed by the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at John Hopkins University; the Center where the researchers are affiliated. They found that gains in math achievement were related to students’ reported effort, and their attendance and behavior marks given by teachers.

Bergeson, Terry, et al. (2009) Using Response to Intervention (RTI) for Washington’s Students. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
This report from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction outlines the Response to Intervention (RTI) strategy for use in Washington schools.  Although the method was initially developed specifically to improve instruction to students with disabilities the basic concepts of “personalized education” are applicable to any efforts to target struggling students with evidence-based supports. This report outlines the history, basis, and offers strategies for implementation of RTI.

Gersten, Russel, et al. (2009) Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: RTI for Elementary and Middle Schools. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. U.S. Department of Education.
This report by the Institute for Education Sciences and the What Works Clearinghouse offers recommendations for using evidence-based strategies with the Response to Intervention framework specifically to improve the math performance of struggling students.  They cite specific practices supported with low, moderate, or strong evidence for each of the three RTI tiers of intervention.

Rich, Sarah. (2010). Mercer Middle School Case Study: High Science and Math Achievement. The Washington State Board of Education.
This Washington State Board of Education case study looks in detail at Mercer Middle School and their implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) methods and subsequent increases in student achievement in math and science.  Mercer Middle School is more racially and ethnically diverse than the state of Washington and has a much larger percentage of students from low-income families.  Through the school’s use of RTI staff adapted to meet the needs of their student population, for example by creating a math curriculum that was better suited for their large population of students who spoke English as a second language.  Following the implementation of RTI Mercer saw gains in science and math achievement that outpaced state averages.