Saturday, December 12, 2009

Schools use RTI to reduce number of students in special education

Linda Blankenhorn (left), city schools director of specialized services, and Caterina Leone Mannino, director of extended learning and intervention, say that the district's special-ed referrals can be reduced. PHOTO BY MATT DETURCK

Rochester, N.Y., educators are using response-to-intervention techniques to reduce the number of students in special education, which is the highest of any district in the state. Introduced in 14 district schools this year, RTI is helping teachers provide more timely help to students who may be struggling. Critics of the technique, however, say it does not do enough to prevent the misclassification of some students -- particularly minority boys -- with whom emotional or behavioral issues may be mistakenly categorized as learning disorders. City Newspaper (Rochester, N.Y.)

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