In Education, Why RTI is Doomed to Fail!

We have posted a good many field reports on RTI start up programs and organizational systems.  From the beginning there were doubts.  The intuition was it was all too slick! Here are some accumulated factors suggesting it is going to be a long haul home.

1. Current financial hardships are jerking school districts off course as to innovative special programs.

2. Only approximately 60% of American schools have started RTI-like programs and the majority are in the early stages of implementation.

3. School organization models with discrete personnel and job function categories are not well suited for interactive, collaborative and data-driven decision making.

4. The complexity of RTI programming requires top school leadership, five-year commitments and integration leadership by top managers.

5.  In 2009, field reports by the U. S. Department of Education for the implementation of RTI in 14 western states showed uneven attention to detail, differing outcomes, and poor response to minority concerns (cf., 7. RTI Success).

6. The civil rights underpinnings to general education remedial support programs are lost upon the current generation of educators.

7. The aim of reducing the number of children needlessly placed and retained in special education is not strongly endorsed as a justification for RTI.

8. General education dominates the leadership of RTI programs in a somewhat non-collaborative manner leaving special education in a weak position to shape policies and procedures.

9. Influential commercial enterprises push technology as a total solution to the problem of helping disadvantaged children.

10. School boards are slow to buy into making RTI a priority when it is crucial to the problem of raising overall school performance.

11. RTI duplicates partly the failures of past Title 1 programs wherein at-risk children were sent off to special education needlessly.

12. Authors of RTI models do not address the history of bias against ethnic minorities, immigrants, the handicapped and poor children.

13. The structures created by IDEA and ESEA statutes work at cross-purposes so fundamental issues of learning differences and needs are not addressed.

14. RTI is a voluntary program so eventually financial incentives will wash out and motivation will fall.

15.  Children who are difficult to teach will always be pushed toward the most exclusionary programs regardless of perfect program design.

16.  RTI models are utopian in sentiment.

17.  There is a lack of commitment to integrating knowledge of cultural and linguistic  differences into school philosophy regarding instruction.

18. The U.S. Department of Education has too  many competing agenda to push RTI acceptance as a system for reducing disproportionality.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

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  • onesista  On July 30, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Our state has recently mandated RTI. So far not good.Many of the factors that you discuss are so true. It doesn’t focus on my child’s individual needs. We’re still just a number.

    • schoolspeechpathology  On July 30, 2011 at 3:46 am

      In schools, knowing individuals is better than knowing groups. In my life in schools I have been fortunate to find individuals who make a difference. I am often surprised who will take time for me and help. Schools are full of good people who are willing to help. One has to look for them and help them back. It’s that way helping children. Help those who will help your child. The big picture is what it is. Thank you. JP

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