Response to intervention (RtI), also referred to as Multi-Tiered System of Supports, is a framework intended both to support learners facing academic challenges and to select from among these students those who will be diagnosed as having a specific learning disability (SLD). This entry describes the origins of this model and the typical organizational structure and instructional protocols it employs. It also provides an overview of key research on the subject and a listing of challenges faced by this policy moving forward.

Historical Foundations

In the United States, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), passed in 1975, was that country’s first concerted, systematic effort to designate children as having SLDs. The process involved two steps: (1) a child was given a test designed to measure ...

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