Date of Award

Spring 4-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Vicki McNamara

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa Powers


Since the reauthorization of IDEIA in 2004, school leaders across America have labored toward implementing a new process or model called Response to Intervention, in the hopes of lowering the high rates of students identified as Learning Disabled and increasing overall student achievement, by providing skilled interventions to struggling students. As schools and district administrators push to effectively implement the key features outlined by state and federal legislation, many schools lack the strategies, resources, and tools to ensure quality implementation of the RtI model. Research indicated that improper implementation and a lack of fidelity to the prevailing characteristics of the RtI program can essentially affect the desired outcomes. This qualitative multi-case study aimed to identify common strategies and barriers to RtI implementation through the use of school administrator interviews and teacher focus group interviews to make comparisons and draw conclusions about similar roadblocks and successes. In addition to interviews, an integrity survey was utilized as a method to identify levels of fidelity to the key features of the RtI program. Much of the RtI research discussed the need for schools and future studies to increase attention to and means of measuring the integrity of RtI implementation. Therefore, additional questions in this research study explored the relationships between the successful strategies and identified barriers to RtI implementation, and key features of the model that were also perceived by teachers to be implemented with or without full fidelity. Through implementation profiles that were complied and summarized, comparisons were made through surveys and interviews to determine if indeed strategies, barriers and infidelity features can be identified as a means to direct overall school feedback, growth and guide RtI implementation. The comparisons and findings of the study revealed that teachers and administrators alike indicated implementation concerns related to the use of evidence based instructional strategies. In a comparison of focus groups and interviews to an integrity survey, it was discovered that the use of evidence-based instructional strategies was also the lowest rated system implemented with fidelity. Further recommendations within the study were then made addressing school leadership and the essential systems of RtI.


Copyright 2011