SEDL Monthly: September 2008
SEDL Monthly: Advancing Research, Improving Education September 2008

Helping Struggling Students
Response to Intervention (RtI) is a general education initiative that holds the promise of supporting increased achievement for all students—those in general education and those in special education alike.

new at SEDL

Overview to Response to Intervention (RtI) Now Available

SEDL letter
SEDL Letter

SEDL program associate Ada Muoneke has written a useful overview of RtI that can be found online in one of the issues of SEDL Letter titled Reading: Practices to Help Improve Instruction, on pages 25-34. Muoneke explains that RtI reflects the philosophy of the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education that "children placed in special education are general education children first." RtI is a process that 1) provides high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, 2) monitors progress frequently to make appropriate decisions about instruction, and 3) uses student response data in decision making.

According to Maurice McInerney, the managing director of the American Institutes for Research, the evidence base for RtI among elementary school students is especially strong in the early elementary grades. "For these students, the intervention and assessment dimensions of RtI have very strong potential to substantially enhance student achievement and to reduce the prevalence of reading disabilities, mathematics disabilities, and behavior problems."


Free Resources

Resources for Best-Practices Database

SEDL's Southeast Comprehensive Center has a searchable database of resources for best practices. It features more than 40 topics including information on assessments, content areas such as reading and science, English Language Learners, interventions (which includes information on RtI), and classroom management. 

What Works Clearinghouse – Review of Reading Interventions

The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse published findings related to its review of 887 studies of 153 beginning reading programs.  It ranks the programs as related to alphabetics, fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement. The report may be downloaded at

National Center on Response to Intervention

The National Center on Response to Intervention publishes a monthly newsletter and has established a standard process to evaluate the scientific rigor of commercially available tools and interventions that can be used in an RTI context. The Web site offers a variety of resources and hosts several discussion forums.


View other resources available on the SEDL Web site. Sign up for AfterWords, the newsletter of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning or subscribe to SEDL Letter, our award winning magazine that examines issues that affect schools and districts today: teaching, reading, hiring and supporting quality teachers, and improving student achievement.

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Questions or comments should be directed to:
Leslie Blair
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Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6507
Fax: 512-476-2286