Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Child, Family and School Psychology

First Advisor

Gloria Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Cynthia Hazel

Third Advisor

Kathy Green


Disproportionality, English language learners, Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Response to intervention


Disproportionality in special education has been an ongoing discussion and cause for concern at the district, state, and federal levels for the past 45 years. Due to legislative changes and a shifting attitude in public education away from a "wait to fail" service delivery model, may states now require the use of Response to Intervention (RTI), or a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) for students who do not meet grade level academic standards or behavioral expectations. This study examined the presence of disproportionality among race/ethnicity, gender, and ELL status for students who received targeted and intensive interventions across two consecutive school years. Descriptive statistics, tests of proportion, and regression analyses were conducted to measure disproportionality within RTI and examine predictors of student outcome at the end of each year. Results indicated that for both school years Other/Multi-racial students were under-represented and in the second year, White/Caucasian students were overrepresented. For both school years, males were significantly overrepresented, females were underrepresented, and English Language Learners were proportionately represented. Hispanic/Latino(a) students who received RTI interventions were about four times more likely to be placed into special education in the first school year than White/Caucasian students and about half as likely to continue RTI interventions for that same year. Gender was a significant predictor in the second school year, with females being about half as likely to be placed in special education than males. Results from this study emphasize the need for providing strong leadership, professional development, and resources to support best practices in RTI implementation for all schools. Implications for future research, limitations to the study, and reflections on current educational practices are also discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Brittney M Bixby

File size

116 p.

File format





Educational Psychology