Field Studies of RTI Effectiveness St. Croix River Education District Model (SCRED)

Study Citation


Bollman, K. A., Silberglitt, B., & Gibbons, K. A. (2007). The St. Croix River education district model: Incorporating systems-level organization and a multi-tiered problem-solving process for intervention delivery. 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. 319–330). New York: Springer.

Program Description


The St. Croix River education district model (SCRED) is a problem-solving model that includes collaborative consultation. The goal of the model is to promote student success, and it is used for students receiving both general and special education services. Bollman, Silberglitt, and Gibbons (2007) identified three critical elements:


  1. Frequent and continuous measurement using general outcome measures (i.e., curriculum-based measurement [CBM]);
  2. Evidence-based instruction (e.g., Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print; Adams, 1990);
  3. School-wide organization to ensure the most effective instruction possible for each student (e.g., grade-level scheduling; concentrated resources).

School-based problem-solving teams (PSTs) are responsible for implementing the model. They consist of 5–10 staff members; membership of the PSTs reflects the staff at large but always includes the principal, the students’ general education teachers, and special education teachers. The PSTs meet once a week to examine student improvement and make decisions about adequate progress via a five-step, problem-solving process: a) problem identification, b) problem analysis, c) plan development, d) plan implementation, and e) plan evaluation.

Training of school personnel in the SCRED model took place over several years and was the responsibility of personnel in the district office. By 2006, all schools in five districts serving more than 9,000 students were involved in the SCRED model.

Purpose of Study


Bollman et al. (2007) conducted the study to discover the impact of the SCRED model on student reading outcomes as well as its utility for special education identification. The purpose of the study was to answer the following questions:


  1. Do students participating in the SCRED model score higher than the statewide averages on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment–Reading (MCA-R)?
  2. Do students participating in the SCRED model demonstrate improved CBM benchmark scores on reading compared to historical district data?
  3. What effect does the SCRED model have on the rate of identification of students for special education services?

Study Method


Data were collected across five districts from 1995 to 1996. These data included a) percentages of passing reading CBM benchmark scores for all K–8 students, b) reading CBM scores falling in the 10th percentile or lower for all 1st–6th grade students, and c) prevalence rates of special education identification.

Study Results

Question 1: With regard to the statewide MCA-R, data showed reductions of students scoring in the lowest achievement level, from 20% in 1999 to 6% in 2005. During this same period, the state average decreased from 19% to 9%. The overall percentage of students reaching the grade-level standard increased from 51% in 1999 to 80% in 2005. State averages were not reported and thus no comparison is provided.

Question 2: Bollman et al. (2007) reported overall improvement in student reading outcomes as indicated by an increase in percentages of passing CBM benchmark scores (from 35% in 1995–1996 to 70% in 2005–2006).

Question 3: Compared with the state of Minnesota and SCRED’s geographic region, a decrease in special education placements was reported. From 1995–1996 to 2005–2006, special education prevalence rates for SCRED schools decreased from 4.5% to 2.5%. During this same time period, state prevalence decreased from 4.1% to 3.8% and regional prevalence decreased from 4.0% to 3.3%.

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