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Perceptions of Public School Administrators on the Implementation of Response to Intervention & Specific Learning Disability Rates in a Small Northeast State

Kenneth A Duva, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

The re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 resulted in the State Board of Regents adopting criteria for specific learning disabilities (SLD) in 2009 (State, 2010). Schools must use response to intervention (RTI) within the process of identifying SLD. Since the implementation of RTI in 2009, this small northeast state’s percentage of students with SLD has been above the national average of 35% (NCES, 2016).^ The purpose of this embedded mixed methods study was to explore what public school administrators perceived as the practices being implemented in elementary schools in public school districts that have reduced their SLD rates by 25% or more from 2010 to 2016. This information will be helpful to other public school districts in this state and across the country who struggle in reducing their SLD rates.^ The following research questions were addressed: 1. What is the identification rate of specific learning disability in a small northeast state’s districts that have implemented RtI? 2. What are the demographic characteristics for districts that reduced their Specific Learning Disability rates by 25% or more? 3. How do special education directors and principals in a small northeast state describe the influence of the implementation of RtI and the percentage of specific learning disabilities in special education referral rates? 4. How do special education directors and principals in a small northeast state describe the influence of RtI on percentage of specific learning disability rates and the following practices: Years implementing RTI, Leadership Involvement, Professional Development, and Resources?^ During the quantitative phase, a questionnaire was administered to special education administrators (N=10) representing 12 districts that reduced their SLD rates by 25% or more. During the qualitative phase, interviews (N=7) were conducted to explore how public school administrators perceived the influence of RtI practices on SLD rates. ^ Findings from this study may help educational leaders around the state in identifying RtI practices to influence SLD rates. Such findings may guide decisions on leadership involvement, models of professional development, teacher training and the importance of resources for fidelity of implementation of RtI.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Elementary education|Special education

Recommended Citation

Duva, Kenneth A, "Perceptions of Public School Administrators on the Implementation of Response to Intervention & Specific Learning Disability Rates in a Small Northeast State" (2017). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI10276531.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI10276531