The Center for Education Market Dynamics • August 28, 2023
Today’s math curriculum market shows signs of destabilization and transition.
CEMD’s first report, K-8 Math Curriculum Quality: The State of District-Led Selection, found increasing traction for high-quality math curriculum in our “Impact Core” district sample, which centers historically underserved students. This second report finds that a sense of emergent fissure and shift is mirrored at the publisher and product level as well.
The long-term, exclusive supremacy of the “Big Three” publishers is faltering. Newer, smaller players are chipping away at the near-total dominance that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill, and Savvas (formerly Pearson) had until quite recently in the math curriculum market.
The new products competing meaningfully with the Big Three’s offerings look different in a few ways. Many of these products are more streamlined, and some were digital-first; several are also open education resources (OERs), which are freely accessible online.
This market may be in the midst of a larger-scale change than our data captures.
The publisher and product data picture in this report likely understates the scope of change occurring, as the curriculum in place in a given district is often a reflection of decisions made several years ago. As districts move into their next math curriculum adoptions, we believe these new-generation products will be even more salient in the market – and more impactful on students.
These market changes will also be challenging, as instructional leaders face a more crowded, complex, and digitized landscape than they did a generation ago. As these shifts progress, CEMD will continue to shed light on the market, measuring the imprint of high-quality products and helping advance them to the students who need them most.