RTI is a process that helps bridge the gap between general and special education in a way that promotes learning. At the heart of RTI is a process that seeks to first test the effectiveness of curricula and then provide supports aimed at scaffolding the learning of students who experience challenge. RTI is preventative, rather than reactive, in nature and through the process looks to mitigate issues that could, and often do, affect student learning. RTI is positive education as it first certifies the curricula as appropriate and secondly identifies students who need extra support as well as those with disabilities whom curricula is leaving behind. The earlier we can address situations that affect student learning as a whole, as well as individually, the stronger our responses will be as interventions are implemented that are designed to change outcomes which are undesired into those that are desired.
Our first goal as educators is for our students to become successful learners. In order to do this we must implement processes into our educative environments that ensure the fidelity of curricula while guaranteeing those who are experiencing problems are supported in a way that is best for them as an individual. Too often the gap between general and special education is treated as an un-crossable chasm, which is too wide to bridge. The true beauty of RTI is embedded in its ability to span that gap. It is only through synergistic energies that are created through collaboration, and use of strategies, that the strengths of the student will be supported while challenges mitigated. RTI is as an opportunity for student success as student challenges are identified and strategic interventions implemented that are squarely focused at facilitating not only whole class, but also individual student learning.
Much like UDL, response to intervention (RTI) is an inclusive strategy that when appropriately implemented seeks to, at its heart, open up the learning process to all learners. RTI promotes learning as something that should be available to all and seeks to use current, while creating new, strategies aimed at supporting not only all in the gen ed environment but also those individuals who need additional support, both in and out of the general ed setting.
What is good for the one can be good for all but what is good for all is not necessarily good for the one.