Posts Tagged "districts"

Infographic: What are Districts Buying?

As Texas districts prepare for the 2015-2016 school year, we analyzed the IMA purchasing data* to identify trends that could offer valuable insights for districts and publishers alike.

Take a look a this infographic (click here to download the PDF version or here for a high-resolution PNG file) to see:

  • State-adopted vs. non-state adopted products purchased (by amount spent and by number of products purchased)
  • Price Variance for High School Math Products (cost/student)
  • Price Variance of Social Studies Products (cost/student)
  • Top High School Math Publishers (by dollars spent)
  • Top Social Studies Publishers (by dollars spent)
  • Top Publishers for all IM Purchased  (by dollars spent)

Conclusion: Districts are buying more non-adopted products than ever before, but spending more on state-adopted products. Product prices vary significantly within a grade and subject, even for products with similar alignment percentages. Smaller publishers are gaining market share in each of the subjects adopted, as more online products are being purchased. With reviews for well over 850 instructional materials from more than 85 publishers, Learning List makes comparison shopping easier to save districts significant time and money and help educators select the products that will best meet their students’ needs.

[Source: Learning List]

List of Statistics

What Products Are Districts Buying? (By Quantity)
57% = Non-state-adopted
43% = state-adopted
How Much $ Districts Spent
75% = state- adopted
25% = non-state adopted
Price Variance in High School Math Products
Geometry: $43 – $140/student (max. is over 3X price) – 8yr. Print and Online
Algebra: $59 – $103/student (max. is 74% higher) – 8yr. Print and Online
Price Variance in Social Studies Products
World History: $52 – $108/student (> 2X price) – 8Yr. Print and Online
Top Math IMs $ Purchased By Publisher
Big Ideas Learning
College Board
Cengage Learning
Math Learning Center
Mentoring Minds
(Top 5 are 85% of all purchases.)
Top Social Studies IM$ Purchased By Publisher
McGraw Hill
Studies Weekly
Teacher Created Materials
Firelight Books
Ramsey Solutions
UT Permian Basin
(Top 5 are 99% of all purchases.)
Top IM Purchases for ALL IMs by Publisher
McGraw Hill
Big Ideas Learning
College Board
Cengage Learning
Quaver Music
Studies Weekly
(Top 5 are 72% of all purchases.)

* Data Source: TEA Instructional Materials Allotment Expenditures (May 2015)

© 2015 Learning List

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Before Buying Instructional Materials, What Would You Ask?

Question YieldIn the July 15th issue of Education Week, there was a tech-related article about personalized learning titled: “Before Buying Technology, Asking ‘Why?’ ” The same can be asked about the K-12 instructional materials selection process. Before you purchase anything, ask “Why?” Why is your proposed selection the best choice?

Yet there are other key questions that must be asked. When we sampled school districts to better understand the cost of the selecting instructional materials (IM), we found that there are hidden costs. We learned more about the cost of selecting IM that remained unused within each district. Our sampling showed the value of unused materials sitting in district warehouses ranged from $50,000 to well over $1 million. Of course, this range was not a yearly total, but one that was a cumulative effect over a period of several years.

So how can you best optimize a standards-aligned selection process that will use every dollar of the IM budget toward resources that your teachers will use  for the next 6-8 years? Ask the critical  questions before you buy.

Districts often ask us which questions they should be asking publishers. Our editorial reviews answer the key questions the research suggests that differentiate high quality instructional materials. We also provide publishers’ answers to the 12 most commonly asked questions from district RFPs across the country.

Since the value of collaborating across school districts is far greater than the knowledge of any one school district, we ask you:

Before Buying Instructional Materials, What Are the Key Questions You Ask Publishers?

We look forward to your responses via the comment field of this blog or through Twitter via @LearningList using #IMkeyQs (hashtag for Instructional Materials Key Questions). All answers will be compiled anonymously in an upcoming blog post by the end of July. Thank you for participating.

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