Webinar Archive: The RTI Ruckus: What Special Education Advocates Need to Know

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The rapid growth in adoption of "Response to Intervention" across the nation's public schools, sparked in large measure by changes to IDEA's identification procedures for specific learning disabilities, is raising issues of compliance with IDEA's Child Find mandate. Specifically, under IDEA (2004), school districts are no longer required to use a discrepancy model when determining eligibility, but instead, may use alternative means (e.g., response-to-intervention (RTI) or processing deficit approaches) to identify students. Consequently, significant variability among states in the SLD identification criteria now exists. The implementation of new criteria - particularly RTI - may result in delay or failure to properly identify students as eligible for IDEA services. This Webinar presents the latest information on RTI adoption across states and the use of RTI for SLD identification. It reviews recent challenges, including litigation, and provide guidance on an array of practical advocacy options that can be used to capitalize on the RTI process-to help struggling students regardless of whether they are suspected of having SLD-and deal with the delay or denial of access to special education potentially posed by RTI.


Allison Hertog, Esq., M.A. founded Florida School Partners - now Making Schools Work - in 2005 to help South Florida families to understand their childrens' legal rights in public school; gain accommodations and special services in school; find the right public or private school placement and; navigate the process of attaining significant McKay Scholarships for their disabled children. Hertog comes to the field of special education law with a highly unique background. She is one of the few lawyers in the country who has a Masters degree in special education.

Ms. Hertog earned a degree in special education from Columbia University's Teachers College in New York and taught children with a variety of special needs for a number of years before enrolling in Loyola Law School of Los Angeles to become a legal advocate for children in need. Since law school Ms. Hertog has not only continued serving as a passionate educational consultant for children, but has worked in the United States Congress and practiced law in New York City. Ms. Hertog has spoken around the country about ADHD, learning disorders, special education advocacy and special needs vouchers, such as the Florida McKay Scholarship. Ms. Hertog is licensed to practice law in Florida and New York.

Edward Schultz, Ph.D., is currently an assistant professor at the West College of Education at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at Midwestern State University, he is involved with several school improvement initiatives, primarily helping to create and sustain multi-tiered prevention and intervention systems of support.

His research interests include multi-tiered prevention and intervention systems of support, special education policy, and specific learning disability identification. He has several publications and has made numerous presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Schultz conducted a state-by-state survey and analysis of state criteria for identification of specific learning disabilities and is the author of SLD Evaluation: Linking Cognitive Assessment Data to Learning Strategies.

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