Special Education

This collection of resources provides information about the realtionship between MTSS/RTI and special education, using MTSS/RTI to identify students with specific learning disabilities, disproportionality, and early intervening services. As a result of revisions to the website, links embedded within documents may no longer be correct. To ensure you are able to access supplemental or related materials search by the title of the document on the website.

Non-Center Resources

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This 2007 brief studies an RTI model as a method of identifying children for special education services. The brief illustrates the role of progress monitoring within RTI through two student profiles.

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This brief addresses significant changes from previous regulations to current regulatory requirements regarding the identification of specific learning disabilities. It was produced by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education.

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The U.S. Department of Education created this presentation to answers questions specifically about funds provided under three Federal programs: Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services, available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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On January 21, 2011 OSEP's Director Melody Musgrove sent a memo to state directors of special education to clarify that RTI strategies can not be used to delay or deny timely evaluation for students suspected of having a disability. The memo asks states to examine their procedures and practices to ensure that the use of  RTI as a method of evaluation is implemented appropriately.  

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This 2007 brief explains the connection between Early Intervening Services (EIS), as stipulated in the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA, and Response to Intervention (RTI).

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This 2006 brief on preventing disproportionate representation in special education seeks to answer the question: “Are we identifying and serving the ‘right’ students?”

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This brief from 2007 describes the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and presents the answers to frequently asked questions regarding RTI and Early Intervening Services. The brief was produced by the U.S. Department of Education. It may be of particular interest to state stakeholders who are beginning to implement RTI and are concerned with the interpretation of reauthorized IDEA, funding RTI, and the identification of specific learning disabilities.

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This annotated bibliography, published by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), is a compilation of research about RTI. The authors Amy-Jane Griffiths, Lorien B. Parson, Matthew K. Burns, Amanda VanDerHeyden, and W. David Tilly identified seminal articles for each topic presented in the publication. The topics progress from problems concerning traditional learning disability diagnostic approaches, to RTI service delivery, implementation and assessment, and conclude with areas of concern regarding RTI. A glossary of terminology is also included.

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This 2006 brief describes the 2004 amendments to the IDEA, which provide significant changes in the determination of specific learning disability (SLD) eligibility. It was written by Perry A. Zirkel and released by the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities.

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This 2007 educators’ guide provides information on disproportionality. The guide disccuses: (1) the definition of disproportionality, (2) issues that contribute to disproportionality, (3) implications for students, schools, and communities, and (4) practices that can create positive change, including response to intervention models, early intervening services and positive behavior supports. An overview of these approaches and district-specific case studies are presented. 

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The National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) developed Module 1: Introduction to Intensive Intervention to increase users’ knowledge of intensive intervention and data-based individualization (DBI), NCII’s approach to intensive intervention.