The National Center on RTI defines the new buzzword as follows:
Response to intervention integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavior problems. With RTI, schools identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities.
In other words, RTI is personalized learning. It’s what education should be, not a special program layered on top of an age cohort marching through a textbook. Personalized learning currently lives around the fringes of the system–in special and alternative ed, in targeted tutoring, in online learning. But soon we’ll just call RTI education.