Responsiveness-to-Intervention: Definitions, Evidence, and Implications for the Learning Disabilities Construct



Longstanding concern about how learning disabilities (LD) are defined and identified, coupled with recent efforts in Washington, DC to eliminate IQ-achievement discrepancy as an LD marker, have led to serious public discussion about alternative identification methods. The most popular of the alternatives is responsiveness-to-intervention (RTI), of which there are two basic versions: the “problem-solving” model and the “standard-protocol” approach. The authors describe both types, review empirical evidence bearing on their effectiveness and feasibility, and conclude that more needs to be understood before RTI may be viewed as a valid means of identifying students with LD.