Greenfield, R., Rinaldi, C., Proctor, P., & Cardarelli, A. (2010). Teachers’ perceptions of RTI reform in an urban elementary school: A consensual qualitative analysis. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 21(2), 47-63.
Federal policies to increase student achievement and improve teacher quality underlie this study. After the first year of implementation, eight elementary teachers were interviewed about how they viewed a Response to Intervention (RTI) reform effort. RTI is a federal policy intended to reform instruction by using a tiered, school-wide system. The following question drove our research: After the first year of implementation, how do educators view the RTI change process? Data were analyzed using a consensual qualitative methodology. Results indicated that teachers positively viewed the reform effort. However, many teachers expressed concerns about the implementation of RTI. The majority of teachers associated the following positive outcomes with the first year of reform: using data to inform instructional planning, using progress monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the instruction, and better knowing “when” to refer English language learners for special education services. Teachers identified the culture of the school as “positively mixed,” meaning positive shifts are taking place and teachers are working along a continuum of understanding and adoption practices. Key concerns of implementation are also presented as implications for effective adoption of the model at the elementary school level.