Response to intervention : moving towards equity and social justice in special education

The purpose of this study was to explore if the Response to Intervention process has a potential to impact equity issues within special education at an elementary school. A case study was conducted at a kindergarten through fifth grade charter school located in the East Bay of California. Data was collected and analyzed through observations, interviews, and reviewing public documents. Findings determined that there were reading skills improvement for students in tier three interventions. There was also a shift in the referral process to special education where more appropriate referrals were occurring. Data further supported that students participating in reading interventions were more integrated and less stigmatized. Recommendations include focusing on a behavior Response to Intervention process, providing specific ongoing professional development, applying cultural considerations and pedagogy and inclusive practices, and furthering research studies in Response to Intervention and Critical Disability Studies.