The problems addressed by this study are (a) the significant rise in specific learning disabilities referrals and identification and (b) the inability to identify effective strategies for reducing the number of referrals and identification using Rtl models in fifth and sixth grades. A review of the literature indicated a compelling need to study the effect of the implementation of Rtl on special education referrals in fifth and sixth grades. An exploratory case study research design was implemented to examine how an elementary school reduced the number of special education referrals in grades 5 and 6 using READ 180, an off-the-shelf Rtl program.
Teachers' perceptions of the effect of Rtl on the rate of referrals to special education in fifth and sixth grades were explored. Other factors that contributed to fifth- and sixth-grade teachers' decisions regarding special education referrals were examined. Evidence collected for this study was generated from interviews, documents, and observations. Data analysis identified central themes that contributed to the understanding of teachers' perceptions of the implementation of Rtl in grades 5 and 6: (a) the role of teachers in Rtl, (b) teachers' perceptions of the off-the-shelf Rtl program, and (c) teachers' perceptions of special education referrals. The findings from this study indicated that referrals for special education went down while the READ 180 program was in use. Data analysis also indicated that other factors may have influenced the reduction in referrals, such as (a) anxiety of parents, (b) mentoring and empowerment of teachers, and (c) the level of support available from the special education department.
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Special education|
|Keywords:||Learning disabilities, Response to intervention, Special education referrals|
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