Eligibility, RTI

“The International Reading Association (IRA) convened a group from the special education and regular education associations to craft a set of fact sheets on the roles of the various professionals and parents who are involved in implementing response-to-intervention (RTI) procedures” (2006, RTI Roles). Nine policy statements were published.

Collaborating groups were: “The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD), Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), International Dyslexia Association (IDA), International Reading Association (IRA), Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), National Education Association (NEA), School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA).”

What do the the groups say about controlling special education eligibility?

The Introduction does say: “To support these efforts, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) gives more financial flexibility to local education agencies (LEAs). Under the Early Intervening Services (EIS) provisions in the law, to help minimize over identification and unnecessary referrals, LEAs can use up to 15 % of their federal IDEA funds to provide academic and behavioral services to support prevention and early identification for struggling learners.”

But a quick tally of eligibility reduction statements in the nine papers showed that only 11 statements were written. Three papers made no mention of over-subscription. Three mentioned RTI as a means of reducing misidentification of minority children. In tone and content, none argued forcefully for minimizing misidentification.

RTI is viewed as a means of improving professional services to children cooperatively rather than protecting their eligibility rights.

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