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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Response to intervention versus severe discrepancy: Identification of students with a specific learning disability
by Armendariz, Gina M., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2013, 140; 3574080
Abstract (Summary)

The present study assessed the perceptions of general education teachers, special education teachers, and school psychologists in the acceptability of the either the Response to Intervention model (RTI) or the Severe Discrepancy model in the identification of a student with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The study consisted of 363 participants: there were 104 classroom teachers, 123 special day classroom teachers, 25 school psychologists, six speech and language therapists, and 65 resource specialists with 40 missing cases. The study used a vignette of a real student who had been evaluated for special education.

The study results revealed significant findings for special education teachers and school psychologists. Special education teachers were significantly more likely to endorse the use of the RTI model over the Severe Discrepancy model in the identification of a student with a SLD. School psychologists were significantly more likely to endorse the Severe Discrepancy model over the RTI model as an acceptable approach to the assessment of a student with a learning disability.

There were no significant findings among general education teachers; however, mean scores do indicate a tendency toward endorsing the RTI model. Lack of significant findings among general education teachers may have resulted from their lack of exposure to the methods of assessment for special education. The findings suggest special education teachers who work directly with students may be more accepting of a switch over to the RTI model than are school psychologists. Educators identified inappropriate evaluation as the biggest barriers to determining eligibility in their school districts. Most educators in the study did not feel comfortable making the decision to place a student in special education.

Overall, the findings suggest that ultimately there should be use of both the RTI model in conjunction with the Severe Discrepancy model to determine eligibility for special education under the category of disability for a SLD.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jung, Adrian
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, Special education
Keywords: Acceptability, Response to intervention, Severe discrepancy, Specific learning disability
Publication Number: 3574080
ISBN: 978-1-303-47320-3
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