Measuring student response to intervention: A comparison of methods
Federal legislation is moving towards a “response-to-intervention” (RTI) model of determining Special Education eligibility. Response to intervention refers to implementing an intervention with students, then monitoring their progress toward a specific academic and/or behavioral goal. If a child is unresponsive to multiple intervention attempts, then a disability is suspected. In light of the legislative changes, it is essential that schools have access to instruments and methods for measuring student response to intervention that are sensitive to changes in student performance over a brief intervention period.
The purpose of this study was to examine the conclusions practitioners would draw using four different methods of determining reliable and meaningful change. Specifically, the study examined the utility of the following approaches: (a) the Jacobson-Truax method QT; Jacobson & Truax, 1991), (b) the Edwards-Nunnally method (EN; Speer, 1992), (c) the 2standard error of difference (2Sdiff) method and (d) the 2-standard error of measurement (2SE) method of determining statistically significant change. Additionally, the study examined whether the Academic Competence Performance Checklist (ACES; DiPerna & Elliott, 2000) and the Social Competence Performance Checklist (SCP Checklist; Stoiber, 2004) were useful instruments in measuring student change over a brief intervention period. Finally, the study explored whether determining statistically significant change offered value over simple normative comparisons. The results of the study indicated that the 2S E method, although simple, was the most liberal indicator of change. The JT method was the most moderate indicator. The ACES and SPC Checklist were useful in measuring pre-post change over a brief intervention period, and reliable change did add value to the team decision-making process.