What is RTI?

Help all kids learn with RTI support

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier educational approach aimed at early identification and support of students whose learning needs are not being met. Using high-quality assessment tools—such as Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) and Skills Navigator®—gives you the valid and reliable data you need to quickly identify which students are struggling, pinpoint the skills they haven’t yet mastered, and intervene with targeted instruction. Getting this information in time enables you to create effective RTI strategies that support the academic needs of at-risk students.


Implementing an effective RTI program helps teachers identify and meet the learning needs of all students, including those who need more intense instructional support. Assessment in the context of RTI goes beyond measuring achievement; it gives teachers crucial data about what each student is ready to learn. An effective RTI program should include:

Tiers of Intervention


RTI Tiers of Intervention

A typical RTI model uses three tiers of instructional intensity; the intensity monitoring of student growth increases as a student moves through the tiers.




Tier I

Tier I: Universal screening—a foundational component of a robust RTI system

By using a high-quality assessment for all students, educators can identify those students at risk of academic failure. Such a screening is typically administered to the entire student population three times a year, and aims to measure the academic growth of each student. The goal is to identify whether the curriculum is meeting the needs of most students—80% of students should be performing at grade level benchmarks—and move at-risk students into the next tier of intervention as early as possible.

MAP and MPG for universal screening

Both MAP and MAP for Primary Grades (MPG) are effective universal screening assessments for RTI. In 2011, the Center on Response to Intervention gave MAP and MPG the highest possible ratings for classification accuracy for math and reading. MAP and MPG provide educators with quick, accurate, and reliable data that aid in informing instruction. MAP and MPG also document student growth—an important requirement of a universal screener.

Tiers II and III

Tiers II and III: Progress monitoring—evaluate if interventions are working

When students need more intensive intervention, educators use targeted instructional strategies. Effective progress monitoring reveals whether these strategies are helping your students. In Tier II, educators will work with students to:

  • Identify the student’s current performance level
  • Create learning goals
  • Implement evidence-based interventions
  • Monitor the student’s academic performance regularly
  • Determine if the interventions were successful and make adjustments if necessary

Skills Navigator—an effective mastery measure for progress monitoring

Skills Navigator is a valuable classroom assessment system for Tier II and III progress monitoring because, as a mastery measure, it pinpoints specific skill gaps within a learning progression. Unlike a general outcome measure that simply assesses content knowledge and basic skills, a mastery measure gives teachers a granular view of a student’s learning progression. Skills Navigator helps teachers:

  • Identify a student’s specific skill learning needs
  • Document a student’s initial intervention plan
  • Individualize instruction
  • Monitor progress
  • Make adjustments to the intervention as needed

Tier III: Intensive intervention—for students who need even more support

Using an effective progress-monitoring tool in Tier II helps educators quickly identify students who aren’t responding positively to interventions, then move them into Tier III programs with more intensive support, instruction, and monitoring. Less than five percent of a student population is likely to be moved into this stage, but it is crucial to identify students who need this support as early as possible. Skills Navigator helps you track students in both Tier II and Tier III programs so you can continually monitor performance and adjust intervention strategies for each student.

Skills Navigator—research-backed data you can trust

Skills Navigator can be administered as often as necessary—a critical characteristic of any progress-monitoring tool. And you can trust that your data-driven decisions are sound, because the research-based skills framework in Skills Navigator is composed of more than 1,000 skills organized sequentially within strands of conceptually-related skills as they develop across grades K – 8. In each strand, skills are ordered and grouped based on a logical instructional sequence.

Next steps: support your school’s RTI efforts with MAP and Skills Navigator