Contemporary School Psychology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 31–45 | Cite as

Evaluating the Use of RTI to Identify SLD: A Survey of State Policy, Procedures, Data Collection, and Administrator Perceptions

  • Tina M. HudsonEmail author
  • Robert G. McKenzie


As it has become a prominent feature in the identification of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), response to intervention (RTI) has generated significant interest and, in some respects, controversy regarding assessment and attendant procedures. In the present study, the authors surveyed state directors of special education (n = 31) to examine (a) the degree to which RTI policies and recommended practices are transmitted between state and local agencies, including those related to referrals of low achieving (i.e., “non-responsive”) students for a comprehensive evaluation; (b) communication with parents; and (c) their perceptions of the impact of RTI insofar as SLD identification is concerned. Results reflect disparities among many states and their districts in terms of the procedures used, data collected, and whether the effectiveness of RTI is evaluated. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


Response to intervention (RTI) Specific learning disability (SLD) Identification Evaluation Variability State directors of special education 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board. Authors A and B received approval to conduct the study from the Institutional Review Board of their institution. A letter of informed consent was included with the email containing the survey link to participants, but did not require a signature. All participants had the option of participating or not participating in the survey.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and Learning, Clemmer College of EducationEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation CounselingUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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