To Wait in Tier 1 or Intervene Immediately: a Randomized Experiment Examining First Grade Response to Intervention (RTI) in Reading

Abstract: 

This randomized controlled experiment compared the efficacy of two Response to Intervention (RTI) models - Typical RTI and Dynamic RTI - and included 34 first-grade classrooms (n = 522 students) across 10 socio-economically and culturally diverse schools. Typical RTI was designed to follow the two-stage RTI decision rules that wait to assess response to Tier 1 in many districts, whereas Dynamic RTI provided Tier 2 or Tier 3 interventions immediately according to students' initial screening results. Interventions were identical across conditions except for when intervention began. Reading assessments included letter-sound, word, and passage reading, and teacher-reported severity of reading difficulties. An intent-to-treat analysis using multi-level modeling indicated an overall effect favoring the Dynamic RTI condition (d = .36); growth curve analyses demonstrated that students in Dynamic RTI showed an immediate score advantage, and effects accumulated across the year.

Citation: 

Al Otaiba, S. Connor, C. M., Folsom, J. S., Greulich, L., Wanzek, J., & Schatschneider, C. (2014). To wait in Tier 1 or intervene immediately: A randomized experiment examining first grade Response to Intervention (RTI) in reading. Exceptional Children, 81(1), 11-27. doi: 10.1177/0014402914532234.

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