kitchen table math, the sequel: lgm on Tier 2

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

lgm on Tier 2

re: Response to Intervention
Tier 2 reading intervention is done as a pull-out. The student still participates in the daily whole class lesson, but goes to a reading specialist or sped teacher for the intervention with a small group composed of eight or less students who have the same lacking skill that will be the topic of the lesson.

Haven't seen any data yet as to its effectiveness compared to the old style of leveled reading groups of 6-8 students.


lgm said... has the official type of explanations. I'm just relating what my district does, and they probably differ from the official recommendation due to all the various issues unique to the district and scheduling.

palisadesk said...

Tier 2 can be push in as well as/instead of pull-out. It is supposed to be supplementary to the core program and use proven programs/practices, but how well this is enforced (if at all) is unclear.

Mary Damer was one of the earlier pioneers of tiered intervention and her book, Reading Instruction (etc)has detailed descriptions about how they made a three or four tiered intervention work wonders in "Project Pride" in IL over a four year period or so.

RTI will be as good as the personnel and programs/methods used, so it is safe to say that some schools will continue to use weak curricula and teaching practices and others will do the opposite. When it's all averaged out, the results will be --- average.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Catherine Johnson said...

It is going to be a boondoggle.

Start with balanced literacy.

Move 20% of the kids - all of them failing to learn to read via Lucy Calkins/Fountas & Pinnell - to "Tier 2" for intervention.

What's the cost?

That reminds me. I have to finally get up my post about Reading Recovery in a school a friend of mine teaches in.

Catherine Johnson said...

Bring back Reading First.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an overpriced version of Bluebirds and Robins.

ElizabethB said...

It's more than 20%, unfortunately.

More like 40 to 60% if they go even more heavily toward balanced literacy.

lgm said...

The plus that I see under this plan is that a student doesn't have to fall as far behind before he qualifies for specialist help. Perhaps this will lessen the sped numbers and up the LD population; not enough time yet in the program to know.

palisadesk said...

It's all relative, though. As Elizabeth pointed out, in a low-performing school 60% (or more) of first-third graders will be non-readers or close to it. RTI will not single out 60% of the population for Tier 2; only the *most* extreme cases will get that specialist help. For others it will be business as usual. Everything depends on local school conditions and populations.

We occasionally get a student transferring in who has been classified LD, mild cognitive delay, or some other exceptionality. In some cases these students perform above average for our non-classified, general ed students. They get As and Bs without modifications or accommodations.

It serves as a reminder that "standards" are very flexible things and what is "low" or "high" depends on the school context.

Catherine Johnson said...

We already know what will happen here in Irvington because the Director of Pupil Personnel basically told us what will happen.

We will have more kids going into RTI than are in SPED. That won't reduce SPED referrals.

He expressed tremendous doubt that RTI would reduce SPED for us, and if you're hearing doubt from the person in charge of implementing the program, you've got your answer.

In theory, RTI is a good idea. Provide intervention before 4th grade.

In practice, it will be a boondoggle because the "scientifically based" criterion will be ignored.

My district will use balanced literacy to teach reading, and it will refer approximately 20% to RTI where they may or may not be taught synthetic phonics -- after having been taught sight words and guessing.

Elizabeth - in our district 'only' 20% of the kids are struggling readers. I assume we've got a lot of parents teaching phonics at home. I have a friend who did so & she can't possibly be the only one. Also, I know parents who have hired fantastically expensive private tutors from Windward School, a is the private LD school in White Plains.

The question of how much better our kids would read with proper instruction - or how much better they would spell - is unanswerable.

I've told a number of times my own story about C's reading shooting back up once I bought a spelling curriculum for use here at home. (Megawords)

Catherine Johnson said...

My conclusion, at this point, is that it's not possible for the state or federal government to mandate an 'input' and count on that input being implemented correctly.

It's probably not possible for school boards to do it, either.

We need charters, vouchers, tax credits, and money for home schoolers.

No, those things don't create great schools.

BUT charters, vouchers, tax credits, and money for home schoolers will put some pressure on public schools to do what works -- and free up money for parents to spend on a proper education for their children.

Katharine Beals said...

Catherine, what do you think of Diane Ravitch's about-face on these issues?

Catherine Johnson said...

Ravitch has been about-facing for years, now. I'll try to find the op-ed she published in the New York Sun (late, lamented new York Sun!) blaming students & parents for poor performance in school.

One of her lines touted PowerPoint presentations in classrooms.


Found it! The PowerPoint line isn't in the original op-ed; it's in a follow-up.

Here it is:

This same teacher said that even when attendance is good, large numbers of his students have poor language skills. In one of his classes last spring, he had 10 students who spoke only Chinese; in other classes, there were numerous students who spoke Spanish, Russian, or Hindi but struggled to comprehend English. Some had given up the struggle. Many were indifferent even when the teachers used videos or PowerPoint or other visuals to try to stir their interest.

Parents' Job II - New York Sun - August 1, 2007

Here's the original op-ed:

Don't Blame the Teachers

Catherine Johnson said...

Here's the Times article on Ravitch: Leading Scholar's U-Turn on School Reform Shakes Up Debate

SteveH said...

At one underperforming high school in our state, the administration got to the point where they fired all of the high school teachers. (They wanted more money.) It recently made national news and even Obama commented on it. Only 7% of the 11th graders met minimal proficiency on the state math test. (Just today, it appears that this leverage has worked and they will come to some sort of agreement with the union.) Ironically, the superintendent of this school system was the one in charge of bringing MathLand to our schools (a different town) years ago. She left to go to this job when my son was in first grade. My son left for a private school after that year and the school started the process of switching to Everyday Math.

I feel that many of us parents are over on the sidelines with our hands raised and asking "Can we say something here?"

Katharine Beals said...

My impression is that Ravitch has at least been pretty consistent in stressing the importance of curriculum content over the years.

Catherine Johnson said...

Steve - that's hilarious!

She was your superintendent??

oh, man

SteveH said...

Yes, Gallo was the superintendent for our small town. In some ways, she she got things in order and running properly, but she was big on full inclusion and fuzzy math. However, she can't seem to trace a problem back to the source.

Catherine Johnson said...

Steve - what do you mean 'can't trace a problem back to its source?'

Catherine Johnson said...

Katharine - definitely, Diane Ravitch has been an advocate for a liberal arts curriculum from the get-go.

I don't know what's going on with her -- not because she's hostile to NCLB; that, I understand. I've carried on supporting NCLB but I agree with her criticisms. (I don't know whether I agree with my own support for the law, as a matter of fact!)

What is hard to fathom is the hostility she expresses to parents, to students - and, it appears, to former colleagues and close friends.

Sol Stern, I think, has made a similar shift; he caught a lot of flack when he said choice isn't going to fix things. But I haven't seen Sol Stern write hostile op eds about parents & kids.

I find the situation mystifying.

Laura said...

I'm finding myself in a position where I'm wondering if I can leverage the district's fear of being sued to try to get them to put together a more academically focused class for my son.

He's hitting the second grade wall (I spoke with a mom yesterday who pulled her kid out and is sending him to Eagle Hill in Greenwich, where he's now thriving, and she said second grade is when it really starts)--absurdly high demands for executive function are being pushed ever higher and higher (pick out your own book, monitor your own reading for 30-40 minutes, remember whatever little reading activity of the day you're supposed to apply to what you read), and focused academic instruction is plummeting ever lower.

They are talking about the possibility of putting my above average IQ kid in a segregated special education class.

I'm starting to wonder if the threat of being sued to pay for an out-of-district placement might motivate my school system to do something more creative.

SteveH said...

"Steve - what do you mean 'can't trace a problem back to its source?'"

She is firing all of the high school teachers even though many of the problems that caused the poor 11th grade test numbers started in the earliest grades - based on curricula like MathLand. This doesn't mean that I'm supporting the teachers in this dispute. I'm just one of the parents with my hand up who is being ignored.