Student Regression and No Child Left Behind Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Lauren Background: A Case Study

The rights and wrongs of the general and/or special education teacher and Responsiveness to Intervention (RTI) is demonstrated in case studies, which can be effective tools for learning. Interventions that address the development of students can be a delicate process because of the many different factors, both external and internal (from social to economic environment to biological/psychological disabilities) that need to be considered before the right intervention can be performed. This paper will use the case study of Lauren Background in order to better understand how interventions can help and/or hurt a student's progress.

Lauren is a young student, 10 years old and in the 3rd grade, whose reading level has consistently declined over the past year. In 2004, her reading level using the Idaho Reading Indicator was at or near grade level. Four months later at the start of 2005 and midway through the school-year, her reading level had dropped to below grade level. Instead of advancing, the scores showed that she was regressing. This trend continued through 2005 and the various interventions that were utilized (more time spent in different reading level groups, including a very small 1-on-2 group with special teacher focus) did nothing to reverse this trend. Lauren's scores continued to fall. Different books and approaches were utilized as well to help Lauren recover and different tests were conducted, such as the DIBELS oral reading fluency assessment -- but Lauren still felt short of her reading goals.

Evaluation: What is Being Done Correctly

What is being correctly done in the case of Lauren is that she is being shown attention and given extra assistance as a means of helping her to develop and boost her reading skills so that they are where they should be for her grade level. Even if the overall result is negative, this intervention RTI method is helpful in that it provides an overall assessment of her development over a given period. As one intervention fails after another, it suggests that there may be other factors contributing to Lauren's regression -- whether internal or external. For example, her sight may be impaired, or she may be suffering from dyslexia. She may be experiencing a difficulty at home life over this period that causes her to lose focus and attention at reading. She may have a learning disability that is being manifested as the rigors of the more advanced reading level increases. In short, there are a number of variables that need to be considered and evaluated in order to find out why the interventions are failing. Needless to say, the fact that the interventions are occurring is a positive sign and shows that care and attention are being given, even if the results are negative. They at least allow teachers to rule out these methods and move towards something else.

Evaluation: What is Being Done Incorrectly

Instead of attempting the same intervention approach (more concentrated efforts at reading), Lauren's external and internal variable should be tested in order to see if the cause of her regression is related to something out of her control and out of the teacher's control. There is no indication that the interventionists ever considered these possibilities, which is problematic because instead of launching into one intervention after another, all of which are in the same methodological approach (concentrated efforts on improving reading exposure), the interventionists should be performing a standardized assessment of Lauren in which these variables…

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