Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



This qualitative case study explores teacher efficacy in the decision making process within the Response to Intervention (RtI) Framework: from the initial Student Assistance Team (SAT) process through the Tier II interventions and the possible referral to Tier III. The study focuses on one elementary school of a rural northern New Mexico school district, collecting data from certified regular education teachers, the current principal, the former principal and the district Special Education Director. Teachers are categorized as either novice, intermediate, or veteran based on their years of experience. The Response to Intervention (RtI) process, if properly administered, may substantially reduce the numbers of students with disabilities being served in segregated settings. RtI is not a silver bullet that will magically reform the study site, schools in New Mexico, or the United States. Properly trained teachers and administrators who successfully develop and implement RtI interventions may, however, decrease the number of students recommended for Tier III. Teachers at the study site are not unlike teachers in other school districts around New Mexico and the nation. Teachers have not been properly trained in the process at the university level and do not receive sufficient professional development once hired in the school district. This study finds that teachers at the research site were not efficacious in the development and implementation of Tier II of the RtI process.


Response to Intervention, Student Assistance Team, teacher efficacy, Tier II interventions

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Advisor

Woodrum, Arlie

First Committee Member (Chair)

Borden, Allison

Second Committee Member

Florez, Viola

Third Committee Member

Tafoya, Anne