What is the National Center on Intensive Intervention?

Question: What is the National Center on Intensive Intervention?

Louis Danielson: Hi, I’m Lou Danielson from the American Institutes for Research and I’m the director of a newly funded National Center on Intensive Intervention funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education.  I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the new center and what it’s all about.  The center, as its title connotes, is focused on intensive interventions for kids with disabilities and it is a technical assistance center, so it’s designed to work with states, districts, and schools in the country to support their work to implement intensive interventions for kids with disabilities. 

We’re gonna talk more in another “Ask the Expert” video about what intensive interventions are but just to help you get a better sense of what the center’s about, I’ll talk just a moment about them. One of the things that’s become increasingly clear is there are a fairly large number of kids with disabilities whose achievement is markedly below proficient.  In fact, in the National Assessment of Education Progress, they would be scored below basic.  Some of the data we’re getting are suggesting that schools are struggling to meet the needs of this population of these kids and there is a research base that suggests that these kids need very individualized interventions.  So the work that the center then will really be on this population of kids in helping schools and districts, initially on a somewhat small scope until we’ve demonstrated that we can do this effectively, we’ll be focused on this population of kids whose needs are quite intense and who really need more individualized interventions. 

We will be initially working with approximately 3 states or so, and within those states, across all of those states, about 12 school districts, and then within those districts, a subset of schools, at least to begin with, and over time we expect to grow the numbers of schools and eventually the number of districts and eventually the number of states.  So we’re going to begin small.  We will soon be doing a national call to identify states, initially states, that are interested in working with this at the beginning stages.  And then as we’ve identified a set of states that are interested, within those states, we’ll be then working to identify a set of school districts and ultimately within those school districts, a set of schools.

So we’re excited about the new project, we believe there’s a real critical need for the new project. So far our sense is that, based on some conversations that we’ve begun with folks at the state and district level, we think that there are a group of people at the state and district level that also see a need for the project.  So we’re really excited about this and really looking forward to working with folks across the country as we move forward.

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National Center on Intensive Intervention