Column: Intervention a new offering at middle schoolWORTHINGTON — One of the big problems our nation faces is the achievement gap between white students and minority students. Education researchers study a concept called the Matthew Effect.
By: Scott Burns, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — One of the big problems our nation faces is the achievement gap between white students and minority students.
Education researchers study a concept called the Matthew Effect. Students who begin school having been exposed to print, knowing more words, and having experiences such as travel start ahead of their peers and stay ahead. Students who are have limited experience with literature, vocabulary, and life experiences that connect to learning start behind and seldom catch up. Erasing these achievement gaps has proven to be a daunting task.
Intervention is a new course offered at Worthington Middle School this year. This class is based on the RtI model. RtI, Response to Intervention, is an education initiative designed to identify student learning problems early.
When teachers see students with learning problems, they first attempt and measure an intensive learning strategy in their classroom. They make adjustments as they observe and measure changes in student learning. If these plans fail, a more intensive intervention is planned and implemented. This second level is most often a separate block of instruction that provides the student with additional instruction in the academic subject area that is causing difficulties for the student.
The positive thing about any intervention class is getting to students sooner. Research is showing that many students will respond to this additional instruction. This approach has many positives for both student and the school. The student is taught strategies that will allow them to be successful in their general education classes. For many of these students it will help with narrowing achievement gaps in reading, writing or math. It also cuts down on the unnecessary referrals to special education.
No Child Left Behind has been the federal education law since 2001. One of its primary purposes has been to close these achievement gaps. RtI and Intervention classes are one of the ways that schools are tackling this stubborn problem.
Scott Burns is an intervention teacher at Worthington Middle School.