Drew Hunter

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Timothy Runge

Second Advisor

Roger L. Briscoe

Third Advisor

Daniel R. Wissinger

Fourth Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski


The purpose of this study was to examine the dual-discrepancy model (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1998) and its application to the identification of specific learning disabilities (SLD) in reading when using a response to intervention (RTI) decision-making framework. Curriculum-based measurement-reading (CBM-R) data and demographic data were obtained for 163 students in grades two through four from one Mid-Atlantic school district. The data were analyzed to determine if students who were referred for multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE) and determined eligible, referred for MDE and determined ineligible, and students who received Tier 3 reading support and were not referred for MDE were different on their level of performance or rate of improvement (ROI) using CBM-R data. The data were also analyzed to determine if level of performance and ROI predicated eligibility for special education more than other student demographic data. The results indicated that students referred for MDE and determined eligible had significantly lower levels of performance than students receiving Tier 3 support and not referred for evaluation. Student ROI was not meaningfully different among the three levels of the dependent variable. The results also revealed that level of performance significantly predicted student eligibility for special education but ROI did not. Implications for research, practice, and policy related to using RTI for SLD eligibility decisions are discussed.