Policy brief

Achievement Gaps and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in California

PACE Policy Brief - MTSS
George Farkas
UC Irvine


This brief examines California’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), which is a framework designed to identify and assist students performing below grade level. MTSS involves at least three tiers of support; Tier 2 includes personalized assistance. Unfortunately, Tier 2 services are not adequately resourced so it is not surprising that California students rank only 38th in the nation in reading and math. To move higher, it is important that the state provide categorical funding for Tier 2 services. California teachers already have a full-time job. To successfully implement MTSS, they need additional Tier 2 personnel (e.g., paraprofessional instructional aides and trained clerical staff to manage student progress monitoring) to assist them.

Suggested citationFarkas, G. (2020, February). Achievement gaps and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in California [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/achievement-gaps-and-MTSS