What is MTSS | Summary and Q&A

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February 25, 2020
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Massachusetts DESE
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What is MTSS

TL;DR

Building a multi-tiered system of support is crucial for addressing barriers to learning and ensuring all students can succeed and be college and career-ready.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the difference between RTI and MTSS?

RTI was originally focused on students with disabilities, while MTSS recognizes that schools and districts themselves can have disabilities that hinder all students' learning. MTSS is more proactive and aims to address barriers to learning for all students.

Q: Why is building a multi-tiered system of support important?

Building an MTSS allows for all students to receive grade-level standards and be college and career-ready. It helps eliminate barriers, ensures equity and inclusion, and provides necessary support academically, behaviorally, and social emotionally.

Q: What are some common barriers to building a robust MTSS?

Some barriers include lack of scheduling, staffing, resources, and curriculum, insufficient professional development for teachers in inclusive classrooms, absence of a data culture and shared decision-making among stakeholders.

Q: How does evidence-based differ from research-based practices in education?

Evidence-based practices have strong, peer-reviewed research studies showing their effectiveness, while research-based practices may have some research behind them but lack evidence to prove their effectiveness. MTSS is an evidence-based approach that has been proven to work when implemented with evidence-based programs, staffing, and professional development.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In 2012, the Race to the Top initiative brought changes to education, including the shift from Response to Intervention (RTI) to a more proactive Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS).

  • MTSS focuses on eliminating barriers that prevent all students from learning and provides intervention when necessary.

  • The system requires investment in professional development and a shift from a "one-size-fits-all" approach to one based on Universal Design for Learning principles.

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