The relationship between Response to Intervention implementation and student achievement
The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation and student achievement in reading. The study used primary data derived from the winter STAR reading diagnostic screener collected from third, fourth and fifth grade students in the RTI process. These scores were then compared to the archival data collected in the fall STAR reading diagnostic screener from the same students. Paired-tests were performed in order to determine if there was a relationship between RTI implementation and student achievement in reading.The study sample represented in this investigation was 125 students who were given the STAR reading diagnostic screener in the fall and winter months during the 2010-2011 school year. The participants were chosen from three elementary schools and one fifth grade school from a coastal school district. The schools are similar in socioeconomic status and have approximately 40% free and reduced lunch participation. Minority groups from each school represent 20% of their respective populations. The three elementary schools that were selected have a similar grade size of approximately 150 students per grade with an average class size of 26 students. The fifth grade school has an enrollment of approximately 430 students with an average class size of 26 students. All four schools combined have a population of approximately 1,600 students. All students selected had been identified as being below benchmark in reading and had been placed in the RTI process for remediation. Only students who attended third, fourth and fifth grades in the district during the 2010-2011 school year and who were assessed in fall and winter using the STAR Reading diagnostic screener, were selected for the study. Results indicated that RTI implementation did make an overall difference. The frequency of the intervention (tier 2) made no significant impact on grades three and four. However, grade five made significant gains. Based on the results, it appears as the interventions became more intense (tier 3); the results were significant with grades three and four, but not significant with grade 5. This could be an indication that younger students who struggle with reading fluency may benefit more from an intense level of intervention.