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A Snapshot of RTI Implementation a Decade Later: New Picture, Same Story

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A systematic review of all 50 state education agency websites revealed that Response to Intervention (RTI) has evolved since the first decade of implementation. What does it look like now?

  • Committing to Tiered Models: All states support at least one initiative or provide guidance related to implementation of tiered systems of support. The majority of states have a systematic state model in place (39). Fewer states offer general guidance (8).
  • Varying in Communication: Overall, states do not define RTI or Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) consistently. States vary in how they communicate about how tiered systems align with prevention frameworks, special education requirements, and other schoolwide systems.
  • Practicing More Often and Differently: While three-tiered models predominate, the most common shift has been from RTI models to other tiered approaches, like MTSS models.
  • Clarifying the Role of Special Education: Some states use their tiered approach for special education identification and services. Others have explicitly stated that RTI or MTSS is a support system for all students and is not a pathway to special education.

Suggested Citation

National Center on Improving Literacy (2023). A Snapshot of RTI Implementation a Decade Later: New Picture, Same Story. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from


Berkeley, S., Scanlon, D., Bailey, T.R., Sutton, J.C., & Sacco, D.M. (2020). A snapshot of RTI implementation a decade later: New picture, same story. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 53(5), 332-342. DOI: 10.1177/0022219420915867