In response to the 12/8/2010 post, “Common Assessment Data Analysis,” a reader writes: Response to Intervention! RTI originally targeted children with special needs. Now, with the NCLB, RTI is used to help with “no child left behind” as well as targeting children that are possible GT students. These students will benefit from RTI strategy by the use of differentiated instruction. This leads me to the thought I had about differentiated instruction and the Test Blueprint. Using the Test Blueprint technique is it possible to make one test that covers all the cognitive domains reaching all levels of learners on as targeted by the RTI (the test being written for differentiated instruction assessment) and score it based on the level indicated by the RTI? Meaning the low level students are expected to answer specific response questions correctly. The middle level students are expected to answer the lower level questions as well as the mid range questions and possible a portion of the higher cognitively guided questions. And the GT level students answers both the lower level questions as well as the medium level questions and now the higher level cognitively guided questions or an essay question where the student can elaborate on his/her knowledge? The test is kept in the students folder, but using differentiated assessment to assist differentiated instruction would save a lot of time and less paperwork for the teacher, plus allow the teacher to see the learning level she/he needs for instruction. The test of this nature of course is not returned for the sake of the lower level learners thinking they did not answer all the questions when in fact they answered what their objectives covered. Differentiation is differentiating objectives, not interest right? SC Response First of all, I’m very happy that you are thinking critically about this. I also want some input from some other LYS’ers, (specifically E. Don, Chuck, the Mike’s and Lesa), but I really believe that you are over-thinking this. The goal of instruction is to teach the standard at the level it will be assessed. We modify instruction to ensure that our students can demonstrate mastery at the assessed level. Then we assess at the level at which the standard is supposed to be taught. How our students perform on the assessment gives us the best indication of the positive or negative effect of our instructional practice. I believe that your modified testing solution could quickly evolve into a case of self-fulfilling prophecy and would have a dampening effect on the overall quality of instruction on a campus. I prefer to teach every student at a high level and expose every student to the strategies and practices that increase performance. To answer your closing question, differentiation is the differentiation of strategy, practice and intervention to insure success. In short, differentiation is the art of coaching.Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn…Follow Sean Cain on the LYS Presentations at the TASB Winter Legal Conference (2/24/2011)Visit the LYS Booth at the NASSP ConferenceAttend the LYS Presentation at the Texas Middle School Conference