PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Adapts to New Market Dynamics

PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Adapts to New Market Dynamics

It has long been axiomatic that large traditional publishers are slow to change, but the COVID-19 pandemic generated almost immediate adaptation among large and small education companies, as they moved to accommodate new needs of teachers and students as remote learning became the norm.

PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Competitive Analysis, 2020 from Simba Information examines how K-12 instructional resource providers are faring in light of various market environmental factors. Obviously, the biggest environmental factor currently is the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

This report examines the K-12 industry’s response to schools in the initial months of the pandemic and the impact the pandemic has inflicted on the industry. Companies selling into the schools immediately pivoted to provide free instructional materials and professional assistance.

Scholastic, for instance, curated a free digital learning hub designed to support virtual learning plans. Scholastic Learn At Home materials were divided into four grade spans—PreK–K, grades 1–2, grades 3–5, and grades 6–9+, covering English language arts, STEM, science, social studies, and social-emotional learning.

PowerSchool launched a new Distance Learning Readiness Kit that highlights best practices around virtual learning to assist in the event of school closings.

Pearson said COVID-19 moved many schools to investigate full-time digital learning for the first time with Pearson’s virtual school Connections Academy business seeing strong increases in application volumes for the current school year.

Company Health

If figuring out the best way to help customers and potential customers was the first thing on K-12 instructional resource providers’ minds, the second thing was how to keep the company operational. Among the top three tactics immediately turned into action were:

  • Turning salespeople into customer service reps;
  • Withdrawing any outlook they may have made for the year;
  • Preserving cash.

The future? The logistics of reopening schools were beginning to be addressed as this report went to press. There may be summer school in some areas and online learning likely will become more integral to the instructional process.

In PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Competitive Analysis, 2020, Simba also looks at several other comparative factors as a guide to how the industry is faring, including:

  • How mergers and acquisitions are reshaping the competitive landscape;
  • What operating performance of public providers of PreK-12 instructional materials, tools and services reveals about the health of the industry;

The report includes detailed strategic profiles of 13 leading core basal and supplemental publishers in the PreK-12 market. Profile data included key executives, company overview, K-12 publishing strategy, and financial summary.