Culturally Responsive Practices

Culturally responsive practices account for and adapt to the broad diversity of race, language and culture in Wisconsin schools and prepare all students for a multicultural world. Within Wisconsin’s vision for RtI, culturally responsive practices are evident in and infused throughout all levels of each of the three essential elements.

Nationally, race has been a predictor of success in schools for decades. Called “the achievement gap,” “the opportunity gap,” “the equity gap”?all phrases speak to the long-standing educational inequities in our system. Both national data and Wisconsin state data show that in nearly every measurable area?academic achievement, discipline, gifted and talented placement, and graduation rates?students of color have statistically significant lower rates of success as compared to their white peers. To address these gaps in opportunity, Wisconsin has situated culturally responsive practices as central to an RtI system.

Specifically, there are three reasons RtI in Wisconsin is centered on culturally responsive practices:

  1. Wisconsin students are increasingly diverse. Our curriculum, instruction, and supports must reflect this diversity and be intentionally inclusive of the many cultures in our communities. 
  2. Culturally responsive practices make a difference. In Wisconsin, school districts have changed race-based patterns of success and failure through attention and intention. 
  3. RtI is a systems change model, and to implement RtI without continual reflection on who is academically and behaviorally successful (and who is not) will not lead to systems change. It is critical to examine Universal practices, and to monitor who is successful with and without interventions/additional challenges, and which interventions/additional challenges are more successful with various cultural, racial, and ethnic groups.


Learn more about culturally responsive practices from the following reputable resources:

The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, Equity Alliance
Visit website >>

Janette Klingner, Ph.D., books, journal articles, reports and other works
Visit the University of Colorado-Boulder's website >>

Alfredo Artiles, "What should educators take into consideration when instructing English Language Learners, particularly in an RtI Framework?"
National Center on Response to Intervention website >>

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