Dissertation Defense Announcement

College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Lauren Tate

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

April 1, 2019 at 11:30 AM in Varnell-Jones Hall (Lambuth)

Advisor: Mary Keller Boudreaux

The Effects of the Response to Instruction and Intervention for Behavior (RTI2B) Program on School Discipline and Attendance Rates of Three Rural Tennessee Elementary Schools

ABSTRACT: Exclusionary behavioral practices are common across the American public education landscape (US Department of Education, 2016). These practices remove students from instruction, often resulting in detrimental impacts to student performance in both socially and academically (Edward & Brea, 2016). The U.S. Department of Education (2018) reported that 2.7 million students were suspended from school in the academic year 2014-2015. African American students, in particular, are disproportionately impacted. In Tennessee, data from the 2015-2016 school year displays that Black students make up 24 percent of the state's student population, yet they made up over 60 percent of those whom were suspended or expelled (via SCORE, 2017, p. 24). One particular innovation known as Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is seeking to redefine discipline practices in schools. Tennessee has taken the foundations of this program and created its own multi-tiered system of behavior management, known as RTI2-B (Response to Instruction and Intervention for Behavior). Although PBIS has been well studied throughout the literature, there has not been any formal research conducted into the effectiveness of Tennessee's tiered behavior system, creating a knowledge gap for both practitioners and education policy-makers. This quantitative study sought to determine if the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2-B) program created statistically significant differences in: 1) attendance rates for students after program implementation and 2) suspension rates for students after program implementation. A series of analyses determined: 1) whether suspension rates are significantly different by grade and by race, and 2) whether attendance rates are significantly different by school year. In addition, to examine whether rates differed by race, independent samples t-tests were conducted. Also, a series of repeated measures ANOVA was conducted separately by grade for suspension rates before and after program implementation. Lastly, a paired t-test was used to analyze school-wide attendance patterns across the five years of the implementation of the RTI2-B program.