Awareness of RTI processes and models among education stakeholders varies from none to little to some to much knowledge. Those stakeholders who indicate they are knowledgeable about RTI credit their awareness to being actively engaged in dialogue and/or practice due to a particular position or role (research, special education administration, working in a pilot site, etc.).
Those who are knowledgeable about RTI components and processes view RTI as collaborative practice to ensure early intervening for all struggling learners. By ensuring that early intervention is taking place in general education with supports provided by other education personnel as needed, and that interventions are available with increasing intensity, all students will have greater opportunities to achieve to higher levels. Stakeholders project that an outgrowth of the effective implementation of an RTI process will lead to school building and district improvement.
Common concerns regarding the implementation of RTI are voiced across stakeholder groups. Most prominently, all stakeholders are concerned about changing roles and responsibilities and how each is to gain the requisite knowledge and skills to fulfill new expectations. As collaboration among school personnel increases and previous limitations (whether real or perceived) of roles become flexible, there is a concern as to how resources can best be reallocated to support RTI implementation. In addition, ensuring that interventions for struggling learners are implemented with fidelity is also among the list of concerns as RTI implementation becomes more widespread.
In order for all stakeholders to be supportive of RTI initiatives, there must be opportunities to learn more about what RTI is and the research-based principles that guide the process, as well as the components of an effective model. Opportunities to engage in discussions with like constituency and cross-stakeholder groups are needed to deepen the knowledge base. In addition, there must be opportunities for all stakeholders to engage in the decision-making at all levels from the implementation at the local site to establishment of district and state policy.
The following pages will introduce you to the varying perspectives of each stakeholder group, as well as resources and applications used by each group.