Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Wendy Cavendish

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Harry

Third Committee Member

Batya Elbaum

Fourth Committee Member

Joshua Diem

Fifth Committee Member

Jomills Braddock II


A general education initiative supported by IDEA (2004), Response to Intervention (RtI) holds promise for improving the academic achievement of at-risk students through evidence-based instruction and data driven decision making (DDDM). However, most of the research on RtI has been conducted within elementary settings. Thus, this study examined high school teachers’ perceptions of DDDM for improving academic performance of at-risk high school youth within an RtI framework. Using qualitative methods consisting of interviews and field observations of six high school teachers implementing RtI in two Title 1 high schools, constant comparison methods of data were conducted. From this data, three themes emerged. These three themes indicated that 1) teachers needed training, support and facilitated understanding of RtI; 2) accountability policies influenced students that were targeted for RtI support and 3) teachers perceived that culturally and linguistically diverse students should adapt their behavior for academic success. Implications for future RtI implementation and practice are discussed.


response to intervention; data driven decision making; accountability; teacher quality; culturally and linguistically diverse students