Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Susan Adragna


Response to Intervention (RTI) has primarily been used as an early intervention in the elementary grades to improve the reading of all students; however, in recent years, mathematics has been added to the program and this addition has not been systematically evaluated. Guided by Deno's problem-solving model, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain insight on how middle school mathematics teachers use the problem-solving process to design interventions for struggling students and to understand the strategies they used to implement the plan. The research questions addressed how the problem-solving method is used when creating and implementing interventions, as well as the impact of the intervention on student achievement. The first phase of data collection was a focus group interview with 6 middle school RTI teachers. A convenience sample of participants described how the problem-solving method was used in planning the RTI process. The focus group interview was recorded, transcribed, and coded to find common themes among the responses. Data regarding the RTI implementation, as well as associated instructional strategies, benefits, and challenges were discussed. The second phase of data collection came from mean mathematics state test data from a cohort group of middle school students in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Scores were compared to determine if there was an increase in the percentage of students who scored at levels 3-4, as well as a decrease in the level 1 and 2 scores. Inconsistent data on the state test did not support the findings of the focus group. Social change can be achieved through this RTI mathematics study by providing teachers with instructional strategies that cultivate the growth of academic confidence and achievement of all students in the general education classroom.

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