School Psychologist Perceptions

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School Psychologist perceptions of an effective response to intervention model at the elementary level

Table of Content

Chapter One: Introduction5


Need for the Study10

Statement of Problem10

Definition of Terms12


Research Questions13


Chapter Two: Literature Review15


A Brief Introduction to Learning Disabilities15

Prevalence and Impact of Learning Disabilities17

Examples of Learning Disabilities18




The IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model22

Nature of the IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model23

Federal and State Law Regarding the Utilization of the IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model25

Multiple Methodologies within the IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model27

Grade level deviation27

Expectancy formula28

Standard score comparison29

Regression analysis30

Critique of the IQ-Achievement Discrepancy Model in General31

Issues with tests of intelligence31

Issues with IQ scores33

Elimination of intelligence tests from the IQ-Achievement discrepancy model.34

Distinguishing between groups35

Meeting identification criteria36

Objectivity versus subjectivity37

Response to Intervention (RtI)38


Early identification and diversity issues42

RtI and Curriculum-Based Measurement42

Differences in Conceptualization45

Differences in terminology46

Three Tiers of RtI46

Tier one47

Tier two47

Tier three49

Different studies on implemented RtI programs in schools50

Lack of cognitive assessment52

Pre-referral and a single source of assessment55


Chapter Three: Methodology58





Cover Letter61

Reminder Postcard62

Demographic Page62

Model Description62

Design of the Study63


Assembly of Study Packets63


Reliability and Validity65

Data Collection and Missing Data66


Data Analysis67


Chapter One: Introduction


School districts throughout the country are very progressive in implementing the best instructional strategies and best practice programs into their existing school set up. Whatever new approaches to learning that the educational community and its leadership develop, schools throughout Pennsylvania usually adopt them in their schools. For example, Pennsylvania has far outreached the surrounding states in implementing the latest, most successful educational programs such as a) Max Thompson's Learning Focused Schools, b) 4sight Quarterly Assessments, and c) Comprehensive Data Analysis (CDA) via the Intermediate Unit 15. However, one of the biggest educational initiatives to date that most school districts in Pennsylvania will be inquiring about is Response to Intervention (RtI).

Response to Intervention is an assessment and intervention process for monitoring student progress systematically and for making decisions about the need for instructional modifications or intensified services using progress-monitoring data. This new educational initiative has become one of the most controversial and thought-provoking changes that schools across the nation have ever attempted to adopt. Much debate and staff development will go into making the transition from the old discrepancy model to the new RtI model for identifying students with disabilities.

The RtI implementation process is a very tedious and time-consuming process, which requires a lot of academic maneuvering and changing. The area that RtI implementation will affect the most will be how school districts will identify students that exhibit a specific learning disability (SLD). The process of identifying students with learning disabilities has changed drastically over the last two years due to the implementation of RtI. This study will examine the educational effectiveness of moving towards the RtI model through the eyes of school psychologists and its overall impact on special education.

Learning disabilities have been found to occur across ages, gender, ethnicities, and cultures (Hallahan, Lloyd, Kauffman, Weiss, & Martinez, 2005; Lerner, 2003), accounting for up to half of students identified with disabilities in general (Burns & Senesac, 2005). Current estimates have stated that between 5% and 5.74% of children in the school-age population exhibit learning disabilities (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; ...
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