Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathryn G. Swetnam


This study was designed to address teachers' difficulties implementing Response-to-Intervention (RtI) program strategies at a low-performing school in south Texas in response to students failing to meet statewide assessment standards in reading. This exploratory case study investigated the perceptions of Grades 3 and 4 teachers to assist in understanding a pathway to increase higher fidelity of RtI implementation and improve student academic performance. Knowles's theory of andragogy and Lewin's change theory provided the framework for the study. The study included interview data from 6 purposefully selected Grades 3 and 4 teachers supplemented by document reviews of professional development (PD) presentations and RtI implementation policies. All data were analyzed using comparative and inductive analysis and coded into 7 emergent themes. The findings included the need for administrative supervision, a lack of RtI fidelity of implementation, and a need for PD focusing on interventions and organizational tools. The project, which was developed based on the findings and literature review, includes opportunities for learning and participating in campus RtI planning to gain support for the program, attending district-approved PD sessions to assist teachers' techniques to improve student performance in reading, and training in specific RtI progress monitor reporting to document use of the various interventions for individuals in the classroom. By ensuring that students receive RtI instruction that is designed to meet their individual academic needs, the project may help the school district decrease referrals to special education and improve students' reading abilities.