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PreK-12 Special Education Market Forecast 2010

PreK-12 Special Education Market Forecast 2010 is a new report from Simba Information that examines the business and market metrics for this dynamic segment of the school market.

The report offers Simba’s trademark comprehensive analysis of the trends, opportunities and challenges in this market segment to guide publishers, service providers and marketers.

Topics include:

  • Size and structure of the PreK-12 special education market segment,
  • Pertinent state and federal policy guidelines,
  • Funding resources,
  • Decision-makers and the purchasing process,
  • Critical instructional materials and assessments used in special education,
  • How technology is impacting delivery of services and instruction.

PreK-12 Special Education Market Forecast 2010 is designed to provide usable market and business intelligence for publishing, editorial, marketing, business development and investment professionals responsible for creating strategies to succeed in this market segment.

Stamford, Conn. - June 9, 2010 - Spending on instructional materials for special education students and Response to Intervention services in U.S. schools is projected to increase 6.2% to $2.28 billion in 2010, according to new research from media industry forecast and analysis firm Simba Information.

Simba’s most recent strategic market report, PreK-12 Special Education Market Forecast 2010, examines the business and market metrics of the dynamic special education segment.

A key feature of this report is the results of a new survey of special education teachers and administrators jointly conducted in April 2010 by Simba Information and Market Data Retrieval. The survey provides insight into the special education practices in schools, the effectiveness of instructional materials and technology and schools’ future need.

“One of the important findings from the survey is the great interest in using technology and digital instructional materials for children with special needs and to provide intervention under Response to Intervention,” said Kathy Mickey, senior analyst and managing editor of the Education Group at Simba. “While manipulatives remain wildly popular as an instructional medium in elementary schools, digital textbooks are making headway in high schools.”

Another key finding of the report is how RtI—with its goal of catching learning difficulties early before children need to be classified as special needs—has helped blur the lines between general education and special education.

“Collaboration between special education and general education departments is the new norm and is accelerating in areas from teaching models to purchasing,” Mickey said.

The Simba report provides important guideposts for navigating the special education market including:

  • Student enrollment patterns
  • Trends in program delivery and demand for instructional materials and professional development
  • Policy, legislation and funding initiatives
  • A Who’s Who of significant providers of instructional materials, tools and services

Additional information about the report, and how to order it, can be found at

About Simba Information:
Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely news, analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit:


From the June 7, 2010 issue of Educational Marketer: Growth in Special Education Instructional Materials Likely Will Be in Digital

Spending on instructional materials for special education students and Response to Intervention services in U.S. schools is projected to increase 6.2% to $2.28 billion in 2010, according to PreK-12 Special Education Market Forecast 2010, the most recent market intelligence report from Simba Information, EM’s parent. A slight rise in the segment is expected in 2011 with electronic materials leading the way.

Special education students use a mixture of instructional materials and assessments, some of which are targeted to the student body at large and some aimed toward special education specifically. In general, the blurring of the line between special and general education has created more overlap in the materials needed for both.

Because of RtI initiatives, districts are stepping up purchasing of supplemental materials, intervention programs and progress monitoring tools, as well as training for teachers. Since these materials are used in both general and special education, special education teachers and administrators are at the table when it comes to making purchases, serving as part of the decision-making team.

Manipulatives Are Widely Used

Specifically for this report, Simba Information teamed up with Market Data Retrieval to survey PreK-12 educators and administrators who are responsible for executing educational plans and instruction for children with special needs and children targeted for Response to Intervention assistance. The objective of the survey was to gain insight into special education practices in schools, the effectiveness of instructional materials and schools’ future needs.

Manipulatives were the instructional materials category used most frequently in elementary grades—80% of respondents said they were used most often in elementary grades, compared to 45% in middle school and 31% in high school.

While schools continue to cling to print as a primary medium in elementary grades, digital textbooks picked up some momentum for special education in middle schools and made their mark as the category used most often in high school for special education—selected for that segment by 54% of survey respondents.

Computer-Based Programs for Future

Looking ahead, respondents to the Simba/MDR survey indicated a strong preference to go digital, with computer-adapted programs heading the wish list, as indicated by nearly 96% of survey respondents. In close pursuit are free Web resources.

Survey respondents indicated that the shift to digital most likely would occur over the next two to five years, rather than in the next 12 months.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Special Education Market Size & Structure
    • Introduction
    • Special Education Is Not Homogeneous
      • Categories of Disabilities
      • Where Services Are Provided
    • Response to Intervention Emerges
      • RtI Gives New Meaning to Grouping
      • Districts Personalize RtI
      • RtI Grows Quickly
        • Table Impact of RtI on Special Education Referrals, 2009
      • Reducing Special Education Referrals
    • RtI Case Study: Missouri
    • RtI Case Study: Boston Public Schools
    • RtI Case Study: Mobile County, Ala., Public Schools
    • States' Use of RtI Varies
    • Early Intervention Services
    • Services in the Least Restrictive Environment
    • Universal Design for Learning Opens Access
    • Focus on Prevention Through Intervention
    • 9% of 3-21 Population Has Special Needs
      • Table Children Served Under IDEA, Part B, 2003 - 2008
      • Table Public PreK-12 Students Served Under IDEA, Part B, by Age and Disability Category, Fall 2007
      • Special Education Population Growth Slows
  • Policy, Legislation and Funding
    • Introduction
    • IDEA Is Major Federal Policy Setter
      • Implementation of Federal Policy Varies
    • NCLB Had Dramatic Effect on Special Education
      • Reauthorization of ESEA Could Bring More Change
    • NIMAS Aims to Improve Access to Instructional Materials
      • Bookshare Helps with Conversion
      • Pearson and Blio Offer Alternatives
    • Update on Several State Initiatives in Special Education
    • Per Student Costs Increase in Special Education
      • Table Federal IDEA Funding, FY 2009 - FY 2011P ($ in 000)
    • IDEA Is Primary Channel for Federal Special Education Funding
      • Fiscal 2011 State Grant Request Increases 2.2%
        • Table Federal Grants to States for Special Education(1), FY 2011P ($ in millions)
      • Early Intervention Services
      • ARRA Boosts IDEA Funding
        • Table IDEA ARRA State Grant Spending State by State
    • Other Federal Programs Help RtI as Well
    • State and Local Funding Is Main Support for Special Education
  • Special Education in Schools: Simba Information/MDR Survey Results
    • Introduction
      • Characteristics of Survey Respondents
        • Table Growth in Special Needs Students, 2010 vs. 2009
    • Schools Try to Mainstream Special Needs Students
      • Districts See Some Growth in Children Classified with Special Needs
      • Special Needs Children Educated in District Schools
      • Majority of Special Needs Children Are Mainstreamed
        • Table Change in Students Receiving RtI Support 2010 vs. 2009
    • Use of RtI Increases in 2009-2010
      • RtI Targeted at about 20% of Students
    • Most Frequently Used Instructional Materials
      • Purchasing Decisions Made Most Often at District Level
      • Manipulatives: Used Most Frequently in Elementary Special Education
        • Table Most Often Used Devices and Instructional Materials(1) 2009-2010
      • Print Texts, Computer Adaptive Programs Top Middle School List
      • Digital Texts Make Headway in High School Special Education
      • Manipulatives Viewed as Most Effective in Special Education
      • Manipulatives, Textbooks Remain Strong in RtI
        • Table Comparison of Instructional Materials as to Provide Effect in Special Education
        • Table Comparison of Instructional Materials as to Positive Effect in RtI
      • Manipulatives Viewed as Most Effective in RtI
    • Interest in Technology, But Not Integral Use …Yet
      • Table Time Spent Working on Computers
      • Computer Use Is Occasional Not Primary
        • Table Free Web Resources Used to Supplement Core Programs
      • Free Web Resources Support Core Programs
        • Table Most Frequently Used for Assessment in Special Education and RtI
    • Paper and Pencil Predominate for Assessment
  • Instructional Materials & Assessments
    • Introduction
    • Niches for Special Education Materials
      • Table Selected Special Education Curriculum Material Categories
    • Special Education Incorporates Formative Assessment
      • Alternate and Modified Assessments for Severe Disabilities
    • Publishers Providing Professional Development
      • Team Teaching Used
      • RtI Requires Professional Development
      • Districts Look at New PD Models
    • Multi-Pronged Opportunity for Technology
      • Mixed Media Offers Variety of Solutions
      • Stimulus Funding Encouraged Technology Acquisition
      • Technology Key for Data Management
      • Assistive and Medical Technology Expands
    • RtI and Special Education Attract a Variety of Publishers
      • Table Selected Publishers and Products
      • Cambium Learning Group Invests in Assistive Technology
        • Table Sales of Special Education Print and Electronic Media to the U.S. PreK-12 School Market, 2009-2011P ($ in millions)
    • Special Education Materials Market grows 2.6%
      • Secondary Schools Account for 51% of Special Education Materials Market
        • Table Sales of Special Education Materials by Level, 2010
      • Federal Funds Enable Instructional Materials Spending
        • Table Funding Sources, Special Education Materials, 2010
    • Purchasing Process and Decision-Makers
      • RtI Is Decided and Purchased at District Level
        • Table Comparing RtI Expenditure to Special Education Expenditure
        • Table Who Initiated RtI Implementation
      • States Play a Distinct but Nominal Role
        • Table District RtI Leaders
  • Conclusions and Outlook
    • Introduction
      • Table Sales of Special Education Print and Electronic Media to the U.S. PreK-12 School Market, 2009-2011P ($ in millions)
      • Trends Unfolding Beyond 2011
    • What Educators Are Looking For in Devices and Materials
      • Electronic Whiteboards Lead Device Wish List
        • Table Implementation Preferences for Equipment and Devices
      • Computer-Based Programs Are Top Choice in Instructional Materials
        • Table Implementation Preferences for Instructional Materials
    • Growth Areas for Special Education Include Autism and ADHD
      • Middle and High Schools Are Areas of Growing Need
      • Moving Beyond Reading and Math
      • Transition Materials Sought to Assist Move to `Real World'
      • Demand Continues for English-Language Learners
      • The Need for Preschool Materials Will Rise
    • Best Practices for Publishers
  • Who's Who
    • American Education Corp.
    • AutismPro
    • Cambium Learning Group
    • Carnegie Learning
    • Curriculum Advantage
    • Curriculum Associates
    • Digital Directions International
    • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • McGraw-Hill Education
    • Mindplay
    • PCI Education
    • Pearson Education
    • Renaissance Learning
    • Scholastic Education
    • School Specialty Intervention
    • Scientific Learning
    • WestEd

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