endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
My point is that the systems that school districts have adopted for the evaluation and identification of disabilities are shaped by these financial incentives so that even well-meaning practitioners will tend to over-identify disabilities when there are financial rewards for doing so.
Of course, RTI does nothing to address these financial incentives for increasing special ed enrollments. In fact, it may contribute to those perverse incentives because schools are rewarded even more by placing more students in special education because they now get to divert 15% of that money for general education, which is essentially fungible. And to make matters worse, diverting 15% of special education money away from disabled students may short-change truly disabled students who need those resources."
Next, is the program with which I have quite a bit of firsthand knowledge and experience, Positive Behavioral Intervention Support or PBIS. This is the program, as it is implemented in our schools, that bestows instant and long-term rewards (toys, toys, trinkets, privileges) upon students whenever they demonstrate a modicum of socially acceptable behavior. At some schools there is a gift/toy catalog that recalcitrant students pore over before robbing some decent child of his PBIS tickets and later exchanging them for gifts and toys.