Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Jessica Glass Kendorski, Ph.D., NCSP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Diane Smallwood, Psy.D., NCSP

Third Advisor

Stephen Kalberer, Ph.D.


The requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act require that schools are accountable for the outcomes of all students. Response to Intervention (RtI) provides a framework to assist in the actualization of this goal. This educational reform effort requires dramatically different functioning on the part of all school personnel, particularly teachers. In order for this model to be successful, researchers must acknowledge the primacy of teacher level factors, such as beliefs and attitudes related to core components of RtI. The purpose of this study was to examine the core beliefs of elementary-level teachers relative to foundational components of RtI, including service delivery, assessment practices, core instruction, intervention, and special education eligibility. A survey design was utilized to explore beliefs of teachers in districts implementing RtI, compared with those who are not implementing RtI. Results indicated that teachers in districts implementing RtI were more likely than teachers in Non-RtI districts, to agree that using student-based data to determine intervention effectiveness is more accurate than using only "teacher judgment." Neither group felt that core instruction was effective enough to result in 80% of students achieving benchmark in reading and math. Additionally, both groups felt that students with high-incidence disabilities were not capable of achieving grade-level benchmarks. Limitations, implications for practice, and recommendations for future research are discussed.