Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

Catherine Fallona

Second Advisor

Rachel Brown

Third Advisor

Kristina Andren


Parent collaboration, education reform, improve student performance, greater accountability for schools


For the past 30 years, public education in the United States has been under fire for its failure to address a long decline in student performance. Education reform has been a focal point of the country, calling for improved student performance, and a reduction of the achievement gap for students struggling to meet academic standards. Following the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the U.S. Department of Education reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004 (U.S. Department of Education, 2006). One important issue addressed in the reauthorization was the criteria needed to identify children under the handicapping condition of Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The definition of SLD remained unchanged in the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA, but the revised law provided school teams with more options to identify learning disabilities. Those additional procedures included the use of a Response to Intervention (RTI) model.