Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

James E. Green

Committee Member 1

Paul Brinson

Committee Member 2

Samuel B. Hardy, III

Committee Member 3

n/a

Abstract

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a nationwide approach that school systems throughout the United States are relying on to identify learning difficulties with students of all ages. Interventions are put into place early in a student's education before they fall behind academically. RTI is relatively new to the state of Georgia. Currently, little research conducted to determine the effectiveness of RTI in Georgia. The state has mandated the implementation of RTI but, it has given very few guidelines for counties and school systems in Georgia to follow for all grade levels. Therefore, the researcher's purpose for this study was how administrators perceive the effectiveness of RTI and what they perceive to be best practices for RTI and to further focus the investigation in Georgia middle schools. The researcher used a descriptive survey study design to answer the research questions of the study. A mixed method approach was used to examine the best practices for RTI according to Georgia middle school administrators. The researcher surveyed the entire population of Georgia middle school administrators. Six participants were interviewed by the researcher. Two participants from an urban, suburban, and rural district were selected by the researcher. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribe. The qualitative data was coded for patterns in responses and major themes were identified: Five major themes were revealed: a variety of interventions being utilized, inconsistent use of programs for curriculum based measurement's and progress monitoring, more training is needed for administrators and teachers, collaboration varies for special education teachers, and demographic factors have little impact. The administrators agreed that RTI is still a work in progress for most schools. The administrators indicated more research based interventions are needed at the middle school. Collaboration between special education teachers and regular education teachers is occurring across the state in a variety of ways. The need for more training for administrators and teachers was suggested by all participants in the study. The administrators also indicated that demographic factors have little impact on the perceptions Georgia middle school administrators have on best practices for implementing RTI.

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