Response to Intervention

How can Curriculum Mapper and StandardsScore™ support Response to Intervention (RTI)?


In 2004, Congress made many changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and Response to Intervention (RTI) was a big one. Resources could be shifted from an old and ineffectual “discrepancy model” of identifying and serving children with learning problems, placing those resources into Response to Intervention (RTI). More children can be served under a Response to Intervention (RTI) model than under the old discrepancy model. Many perceived Response to Intervention (RTI) as a good change for a system that was failing to educate so many struggling children. The premise of Response to Intervention (RTI) is a good one: by providing high quality instruction and regularly keeping track of how children are doing in the classroom, Response to Intervention (RTI) helps all children succeed and achieve high standards.


Response to Intervention (RTI) is a general education approach that aligns resources from general, remedial and special education through a multi-tiered service delivery model. Since the Response to Intervention (RTI) model can be applied in all academic areas and behavior, Response to Intervention (RTI) can be an effective pathway to exemplary status under NCLB.


Response to Intervention (RTI) maintains three tiers for resource delivery models:


  • Tier 1 = benchmark level
    • All students receive instruction in an effective, scientifically-based core curriculum
    • Data on student progress
  • Tier 2 = strategic level
    • Students who do not respond adequately to core curriculum, considered "at risk" for academic failure
    • Response to Intervention (RTI) calls for supplemental instruction to be provided
  • Tier 3 = intensive level
    • Students who do not respond to interventions at Tier 1 or 2
    • Response to Intervention (RTI) methods used to provide more intensive interventions and progress monitoring


Curriculum Mapper and StandardsScore™ provide Response to Intervention (RTI) data to staff to help determine if:


  • Core content and skills have been taught
  • Frequency and duration of instruction is adequate
    • This allows teachers to make decisions as to whether students have had access to content and skills’ instruction – from which learning could take place or whether Response to Intervention (RTI) methods need to be used to make changes in instruction (intensity, duration, materials, instructional strategy, etc.).
  • Progression of skills is appropriate to instructional goals and targets
    • This key component of Response to Intervention (RTI) allows teachers to determine if students have participated in instruction that would lead to mastery of skills (i.e. skills have been introduced, practiced – with teacher support and independently, applied to new learning, etc.)
    • This also allows teachers to integrate Response to Intervention (RTI) with Bloom’s levels of taxonomy to examine the progress of their targets and goals (i.e. Did we ask students to create a main idea and/or details before we even asked if they could recognize or identify main idea and details from text?)
  • Students have mastered the content/skills taught
    • Here is our opportunity to look at assessments and assessment data, another key aspect of Response to Intervention (RTI). (Have we measured student learning? If so, how often? In what format? What were the results? Before teachers simply re-teach and re-teach and re-teach, Response to Intervention (RTI) helps determine what considerations need to be made and which students need additional instruction? In what areas? What kind?)


Decisions about Response to Intervention (RTI) and additional instruction cannot be made if no determination is able to be made about the core curriculum and instruction that students have received. Once students have been identified as needing additional supplemental instruction, (Tier 2 on the RTI diagram) teachers need to determine what each instructor will be teaching. Time is a school’s most precious resource, and Response to Intervention (RTI) works best when there are no gaps and redundancies within the curriculum. Curriculum Mapper facilitates Response to Intervention (RTI) by allowing co-instructors to talk factually about what instruction has occurred for students, therefore supporting ongoing discussion of what additional instruction needs to take place.


If trends or patterns of academic deficiencies are noted through the refinement process, administrators and staff can study resources, scientifically-based instructional practices, etc., that will allow them to use Response to Intervention (RTI) to achieve academic success for all students. The Response to Intervention (RTI) process is facilitated through collaborative discussions using data that can be mined from Curriculum Mapper and StandardsScore™.


Examining patterns and trends allows administrators to determine if the core curriculum needs adjustment and what resources and professional development needs are warranted in order to effectively implement Response to Intervention (RTI). Administrators can use this data to determine the scope of the problem or situation, dealing with questions such as, “Is this a problem in all of kindergarten, one classroom, or a small group of students? Do all of my teachers need training in this area? Do we need all new or different resources?” This allows material and time resources needed for Response to Intervention (RTI) to be planned for and spent more effectively.

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