Race, Response to Intervention, and Reading Research

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In this critique, race is centralized to draw attention to the role it plays in the complex evolution of response to intervention, past and present. I use a critical race theory analytical lens to focus on how the dominant narrative serves as a framework within institutional and political structures in support of the approach. A brief overview of anti-discrimination laws and policies is followed by several historical narratives that are used to convey the intersecting nature of early reading and special education research. The body of research is employed to articulate the goals and purpose of the intervention, sans a clear commitment to addressing racial disproportionality. This critique particularly exposes how response to intervention has neither improved reading achievement nor curtailed racial disproportionality, and emphasizes that reading research is complicit in the reproduction of racial inequality in education. I conclude with a call to action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-419
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • RTI
  • race/ethnicity
  • reading research
  • response to intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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