Problems with RTI:
While RTI clearly provides a method of identification which 'bypasses' the typical problems of the traditional discrepancy model, it has serious problems and limitations of its own. First, there are no clear guidelines provided or objective means to determine what are or are not considered appropriate forms or levels of intervention. In other words, it is an extremely subjective process. While some mainstream teachers naturally provide appropriate interventions which may even enable LD students to succeed, other teachers will have considerable difficulty providing any level of appropriate intervention. In addition, some students (most notably those with lower cognitive abilities) will naturally struggle to keep up with their classmates regardless of any intervention which may be provided. As such, while some truly LD students may not be identified through RTI, many more non-LD underachievers will be found eligible for LD services
RTI or 'Response to Intervention' is a new approach to the identification of a learning disability which is intended to alleviate the problems associated with the discrepancy model. With RTI, there is no need to formally evaluate cognitive abilities or academic achievement. All that is required is documentation that the student has been unable to respond to appropriate interventions which have been provided within the classroom. In other words, as long as the interventions within the classroom have been provided consistently over a reasonable period of time and have been based upon sound and scientifically proven educational principles, if the student continues to demonstrate significant underachievement within the classroom he/she can be considered eligible for special education services related to a learning disability. It is very important to note that the interventions provided within the classroom are 'mainstream' interventions and are not intended to simulate special education services. It is also important to note that even with RTI the student's underachievement should be related to an underlying cognitive processing issue.
The benefits RTI As opposed to RTI not being beneficial for students in mainstream classrooms and special