Field Studies of RTI Effectiveness Idaho Results-Based Model (RBM)

Study Citation


Callender, W. A. (2007). The Idaho results-based model: Implementing response to intervention statewide. In S. R. Jimerson, M. K. Burns, & A. M. VanDerHeyden (Eds.), Handbook of response to intervention: The science and practice of assessment and intervention (pp. 331–342). New York: Springer.

Program Description


The Idaho results-based model (RBM) is a combination of a problem-solving model and a standard-protocol model. Its purpose is to provide strategic interventions (standard protocol) and intensive interventions (problem solving) in the context of instruction, curriculum, and environment. Callender (2007) identified several phases of the RBM process:


  1. Addressing the system;
  2. Problem-solving teams;
  3. Parental involvement;
  4. Functional assessment;
  5. Outcome-oriented intervention;
  6. Ongoing progress monitoring;
  7. Systemic data-based decision making;
  8. Dual-discrepancy eligibility.

Within this model, general education teachers are responsible for implementing the strategic interventions in the classroom. If these interventions prove unsuccessful, problem-solving teams (PSTs) are responsible for identifying the more intensive intervention plan. The membership of the PSTs generally consists of four to eight persons and includes the school principal, general education teachers, special education representatives, a school psychologist, parents, the student, and other specialists as needed.

The PSTs typically meet weekly to discuss intervention effectiveness and determine one of the following options: a) continue the plan as is, b) change the current plan, c) discontinue the plan, or d) refer for special education service.

Training of school personnel was the responsibility of the Idaho State Department of Education, and training of parents was the responsibility of school personnel. By 2005, approximately 150 elementary and secondary schools were trained across the state of Idaho. Approximately 40% of all districts within the state have one or more buildings participating in the program.

Purpose of Study


Callender (2007) reported on data gathered by the Idaho State Department of Education in a 5-year evaluation report on the RBM. The focus of the evaluation was on special education placement and reading performance in participating schools. Specifically, the purpose of the evaluation was to answer the following questions:


  1. Do students participating in the RBM demonstrate greater reading performance than students participating in traditional programs?
  2. Does use of the RBM decrease the percentage of special education placements compared to non-RBM schools?

Study Method


Data were collected on special education placements across the entire state from 1999 to 2004. During this same time frame, 1,400 K–3 students from 150 schools were divided into two groups: a) RBM with intervention plan and b) non-RBM with like reading performance but no intervention plan. These two groups were compared on reading improvement (specific reading measures were not specified).

Study Results

Question 1: With regard to student reading outcomes, the author reported that RBM students with an intervention plan progressed significantly more in reading than did their non-RBM counterparts.

Question 2: Callender (2007) reported that from 2002 to 2005, overall enrollment in Idaho schools increased by 3% and special education placements increased by 1%. During this same time, however, districts with at least one RBM school demonstrated a decrease of 3% in special education placements.

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