Mathematics, the Common Core, and RTI: An Integrated Approach to Teaching in Today's Classrooms


Dolores Burton & John Kappenberg

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  • Back Matter
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  • Dedication

    This book is dedicated to my husband Bernard Burton, my hero, and the wind beneath my wings …

    Dolores Burton

    and to Catherine Faith Kappenberg … the love of my life and partner in everything I do.

    John Kappenberg


    View Copyright Page


    I have been fortunate to know my mentor, former professor, and friend, Dr. Barbara Baskin, for 35 years. Without her encouragement so long ago, this book and many other accomplishments would not have been possible.

    Dolores Burton

    I wish to thank my colleagues, past and present, for allowing me to be both a teacher and student throughout my career. For without those enriching and invaluable experiences, my contribution to this book and to education would not have been possible.

    Harold J. Dean

    I am indebted to the teachers and leadership of Sandy Creek High School, in Sandy Creek, New York—Janice Burns, PPS coordinator; Kim Manfredi, special education teacher; and Jonna St. Croix, global studies teacher—for providing an outstanding example of an effective inclusion program. Their work served as a model for many of the observations and recommendations found in Chapter 7. Finally, I gratefully acknowledge almost 50 years of professional support and personal inspiration from Dick Maitland and more than 25 years of lessons in leadership, mentorship, and friendship from George Goldstein.

    John Kappenberg

    Thank you to Barb Crandall, third-grade teacher and president-elect of the Alaska Council of Teachers of Mathematics, for her insightful comments. Special thanks to all of the staff at Corwin who supported us during completion of this book: Jessica Allan, senior acquisitions editor; Kimberly Greenberg, associate editor; Heidi Arndt, editorial assistant; Melanie Birdsall, production editor; Sarah J. Duffy, copy editor; Anupama Krishnan, cover designer; and Karen Ehrmann, permissions editor. And special thanks to Dr. Patricia Schmidt, Education Division Chair, Five Towns College, for reading the manuscript and sharing her scholarly perspectives.

    Dolores Burton and John Kappenberg
    Publisher's Acknowledgments

    Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:

    • Zoma Barrett
    • Math Teacher
    • Salem Middle School
    • Salem, IN
    • Deb Bible
    • RTI Interventionist
    • Dundee Highlands School
    • West Dundee, IL
    • Scott Currier
    • Math Teacher
    • Nute High School
    • Milton, NH
    • JoAnn Hiatt
    • Math Teacher
    • Olathe East High School
    • Olathe, KS
    • Judith A. Rogers
    • K–5 Mathematics Specialist
    • Tucson Unified School District
    • Tucson, AZ
    • Judith A. Ross
    • Educational Consultant/Teacher Liaison
    • Dartmouth College GK–12 Program
    • Hanover, NH

    About the Authors

    Dolores Burton, EdD, is a Fulbright scholar, former public school teacher in middle and high school mathematics, and school district administrator implementing schoolwide, districtwide, and countywide educational technology programs including the design and supervision of infrastructure installation. She recently retired as professor and chair of teacher education at New York Institute of Technology. She has published in numerous journals, presented nationally and internationally, and consulted regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her numerous consultancies include service as a member of the New York State Education Department Panel of Experts Response to Intervention Policy Committee and lecturing on school reform strategies in Kenya.

    Dr. Burton authored instructional software and is the co-author of The Complete Guide to RTI: An Implementation Toolkit. During her 37 years in education, she has designed, delivered, and supervised professional development for teachers in Grades K–12 in mathematics, literacy, science, differentiated instruction, action research, instructional technology, using data to drive instruction, and inclusive practices. She has organized symposia for educators and parents on research-based strategies to close the achievement gap of the traditionally underserved populations: African American males, English language learners, students with special needs, and others at risk for academic failure. Her research interests include Response to Intervention (RTI), teacher preparation (elementary through college), Common Core State Standards, professional development, using data to drive instruction, and using technology to teach all students, especially those who have traditionally been underserved.

    John Kappenberg, EdD, has spent 40 years in education as teacher, professor, district administrator, writer, speaker, and consultant to school districts and professional organizations. He is currently chair of medical education and program manager for the Accelerated D.O./Family Medicine Residency Continuum at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was director of research, planning and quality at the Sewanhaka Central High School District in New York for 18 years, where he led its long-term Strategic Planning Program. He has been director of educational leadership and technology at NYIT and has taught school finance and law, Total Quality Management, strategic planning, teacher education, and educational technology at Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Touro College, St. Joseph's College on Long Island, and Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Kappenberg served on the Board of Directors for the New York State Governor's Excelsior Award Program, as audio and sound effects artist for ABC Television Network and Sesame Street, and has produced more than 120 instructional, motivational, and public information videos and DVDs for schools, universities, and professional and state organizations.

    About the Contributors

    Harold J. Dean, EdD, is an administrator with the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Education Services on Long Island. He has taught elementary and secondary special education across many settings, including inclusive, consultant, self-contained, and itinerant models. He has served as a central office administrator in managing a state personnel improvement grant focusing on improving special education practices through the use of best-practice partnerships. Currently, he is a building administrator at a career and technical education high school serving general education and classified populations. He has presented locally and nationally on topics including Response to Intervention; effective instructional practices and intervention models: collaborative partnerships; progress monitoring; and data-based decision making in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Dr. Dean also teaches courses on leadership, professional development, collaboration, and reflective practice at the graduate level for St. Joseph's College School of Education in New York.

    Helene Fallon, MEd, has a background in social work and education with extensive training in advocacy for children and young adults with disabilities. She is the parent of two children with special needs. Working nationally as a professional development specialist, she conducts trainings on many topics, always focusing on collaboration and effective communication in education.

    Andrea Honigsfeld, EdD, is a professor in the Division of Education at Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, New York. She teaches graduate education courses related to cultural and linguistic diversity, linguistics, English as a second language (ESL) methodology, and action research. Before entering the field of teacher education, she taught English as a foreign language in Hungary, ESL in New York City, and Hungarian at New York University. She was the recipient of a doctoral fellowship at St. John's University, New York, where she conducted research on individualized instruction and learning styles. She has published extensively on working with English language learners and providing individualized instruction based on learning style preferences. She received a Fulbright Award to lecture in Iceland in the fall of 2002. She frequently offers staff development primarily focusing on effective differentiated strategies and collaborative practices for ESL and general education teachers. She co-authored Collaboration and Co-Teaching: Strategies for English Learners (2010, Corwin), Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner: K–5 English Language Arts Strategies (2013, Corwin), Common Core for the Not-So-Common Learner: 6–12 English Language Arts Strategies (2013, Corwin), and co-edited Coteaching and Other Collaborative Practices in the EFL/ESL Classroom: Rationale, Research, Reflections, and Recommendations (2012) with Maria Dove. Her co-authored book Differentiated Instruction for At-Risk Students (2009) and co-edited five-volume Breaking the Mold of Education series (2010–2013) with Audrey Cohan were published by Rowman and Littlefield.

    Charlotte Rosenzweig, EdD, is currently an adjunct professor of adolescent education in English language arts and literacy and supervisor of student teachers at Molloy College, in Rockville Centre, New York. She has also taught graduate and teacher education courses in curriculum and design, reading in the content areas 6–12, and remediation of reading problems at New York Institute of Technology, Center for Integrated Teacher Education, and Long Beach High School. As an educator and administrative leader in both urban and suburban settings for more than 30 years, Dr. Rosenzweig has served as an English chairperson, a curriculum associate (K–12), and an assistant principal and language arts coordinator. Prior to her administrative experiences, she served as a reading specialist and English language arts teacher. She presented for colleagues and peers at the Long Island Language Arts Council, American Education Research Association, Farmingdale Teacher Center, Hofstra University Doctoral Colloquium, Cold Spring Harbor Schools, and Nassau Reading Council. Dr. Rosenzweig received her doctorate from Hofstra University's Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies. Her publications include A Meta-Analysis of Parenting and School Success: The Role of Parents in Promoting Students' Academic Performance (2000), PSAT/SAT Handbook (2007), A Journey Into Academe, and the co-authored The Path to Research (2006).

  • The Future of the Common Core and RTI

    Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! … They have found their punishment in their success. Laws overturned; tribunals subverted; industry without vigor; commerce expiring, the revenue unpaid, yet the people impoverished.

    —Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1791/1955, p. 5)

    Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.

    —William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1850/1970)

    These completely opposing views on the French Revolution come from two of the most renowned English writers of the time. Wordsworth, toward the end of his life, recalled his joy as a young man in feeling himself part of a movement that would eventually eliminate despotism from Europe and open the door to democracy and freedom. Burke, writing in the midst of the same event, saw only the end of a traditional way of life. With two centuries of hindsight, it is easy to see that both were partly right, but neither caught the full scope of what was happening.

    Massive changes in a nation or culture have a way of polarizing feeling, either for or against the movement. In American education, a philosophy of local control based on local standards has dominated the nation since the late nineteenth century. In 2014, a year from the publication of this book, the legislatures of forty-six states (as of early 2013) have declared that this paradigm will change radically, in what amounts to a revolution in education. Yong Zhao clearly described the revolutionary aspect of the changes ahead—and hinted at the tremendous difficulty we will face in untangling the threats from the benefits:

    As American schools pour their resources into products, programs, and services to be Common Core ready in 2013, please keep in mind that the Common Core is a bet on the future of our children. While I have written about the Common Core many times before (e.g., Common Core vs. Common Sense, Common Core National Curriculum Standards), I wanted to ask all of us to ask again if the new world of education ushered in by the Common Core will be better than the old one scheduled to end in a year. (Zhao, 2013, p. 1)

    Zhao points out that the Common Core was created by America's political and educational leaders because they saw our schools as fallen to a condition described as “chaotic, fragmented, unequal, obsolete, and failing” (p. 1)—the kinds of conditions that have led to revolutions of all types in recent history. But at the same time, he warns against zealotry in response to the great changes that lie ahead (the “bet on the future of our children”). If the most brilliant minds of the generation that lived through the French Revolution could not see the full implications of the events in front of them, it is probably good counsel not to become a full-throated advocate, either for or against the changes, particularly in the early stages.

    The Common Core State Standards, RTI, and other revolutionary school reforms are fully underway, and the political momentum is not likely to be reversed. The time for determined opposition has passed. On the other hand, as with any new initiative, these reforms are still untested experiments with our children's future. There is little historical precedent, and only an anecdotal track record of success, that advocates can point to. The good or the harm that these programs do will depend entirely on the creativity, the sensitivity, the flexibility, the willingness to compromise and adapt, and the perseverance of the educators who put them into practice beginning in 2014.

    This book is an attempt to offer a balanced picture of the complex interrelationships between the Common Core State Standards and Response to Intervention, without proselytizing them or suggesting a guarantee that either or both together can lead our schools to a brighter future. These are innovative tools, with great potential for helping creative teachers to improve their work with children. But they will only be as successful as the talent and determination of tens of thousands of teachers across the nation who adapt them to their own classes and are alert enough to recognize the signs from their students when changes need to be made.

    We look forward to continuing our work with teachers as they learn how to use CCSS and RTI to improve the success of their students. That success can never be guaranteed by a government mandate or an educational program. It will come only from teachers who care enough about their students to stop at nothing until every one of them has achieved their full potential.


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