Response to intervention and school leadership
The purpose of this study was to examine Response to Intervention (RtI) implementation in schools from the campus administrator’s point of view, exploring components and critical factors that influence the process. The significance of the study is to provide an extension point to determine if there are trends in the RtI implementation process regarding the components in relation to school leadership’s perception and experience. A web-based survey was administered to a large group of assistant principals and principals (N = 564) in 211 school campuses in grade levels K-12. Of the 564 administrators, 157 responses were obtained. The survey consisted of 20 Likert-type items that addressed the school administrator’s knowledge and implementation of the RtI process. The components surveyed were universal screening, progress monitoring, tiered instruction, and data-based decision making. Within each component, five questions were asked about the administrators’ knowledge of the purpose, resources and support, time for implementation, training, and the component of linguistic and cultural responsiveness regarding the RtI process was asked across all the sections. The results of the t tests on the data compared elementary to secondary administrators’ perceived knowledge on four components of RtI, including the fifth component, linguistic/culturally responsive evaluated as a separate question. Three of the 20 questions with a confidence level of 95%, comparing the elementary and secondary administrators, showed no differences in knowledge. For the remaining sixteen questions, the t-test results indicated a significant difference in the means for the responses between the elementary and secondary administrators. There was a higher correspondence of agreement among elementary administrator responses on all components regarding the questions as compared to the secondary administrators’ responses. The results can assist future researchers and practitioners when evaluating the RtI process in public school settings regarding training needed to support school leaders. The study also has the potential to guide further research needed for school administrators to be able to more effectively use the RtI process to identify students at-risk of mastering grade level standards. By using the RtI process more effectively and closing education gaps for students, there is potential for fewer special education referrals on campuses.