To see whether students are learning their mathematics or language arts, school teachers and administrators have to make decisions about how extensively to test them–including which tests, how much they cost, and how much time all this testing takes away from instruction.
And if the testing shows some students are struggling with the material, teachers and administrators then have more decisions to make–about whether to dive in with intensive instruction for a few students, review with the whole class, how extensively to review, etc.
This approach–called Response to Intervention, which also includes a loop of continuous instruction and testing until students learn their subjects–has gotten unwieldy and off-track in some schools, observe NLU’s Mark Shinn, Ph.D., and colleagues in “Four Steps to Implement RTI Correctly,” published in Education Week. Shinn is a professor of school psychology, and program coordinator.
Just like dieting, RtI is a wonderful idea, but the trick is in sticking to it and doing it right, they argue.
See their four strategies for a Response to Intervention approach which helps students, controls costs and reduces frustration for teachers in the Education Week article here.
Be prepared, however–their suggestions include teacher collaboration that may get some teachers out of their comfort zone.