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Survey finds K-12 educators rate open educational resources as equal to offerings from commercial publishers

Survey finds K-12 educators rate open educational resources as equal to offerings from commercial publishers

Research shows a strong relationship between educators' perceptions of the effectiveness of professional development on a curriculum and the quality of that curriculum

PR Newswire

OAKLAND, Calif., July 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- K-12 teachers and leaders view the quality of curricula based on open educational resources (OER) as equal to offerings from commercial publishers. These results stem from Bay View Analytics' survey of 2,137 teachers, school-level administrators, and district administrators in U.S. districts that made full-course curricula adoption decisions within the past three years. The survey, funded by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, also reveals that educators and administrators have mixed views of the quality of various curriculum options as well as the effectiveness of professional development in support of that curriculum.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Educators that select OER view the overall quality as slightly better than commercial alternatives, and considerably better on particular aspects of teaching and learning, such as applying knowledge to novel tasks and situations, and collaborating with others.
  • Three commercial publishers (Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin) command the largest market shares for providing curricula materials, but together account for less than half of the adoptions.
  • The number of districts designing their own curriculum is almost as large as the amount selecting from one of the top three publishers.
  • Most K-12 districts give their selected curriculum a rating that translates to 'fair or good,' but they're far less satisfied with the effectiveness of professional development offerings associated with that curriculum.
  • Full-course curriculum based on OER represent a small portion of all K-12 recent adoptions, at slightly over 5%.
  • OER adoptions are concentrated in Mathematics, where 14% of adoption decisions were OER (compared to 4% for English Language Arts, 2% for Science, and 1% for History and Social Studies).
  • School districts are well-versed in including student technology use as part of the learning process. Virtually all provide student internet access across their entire campuses, and a majority have some sort of one-to-one laptop or tablet arrangement for at least some of their students.

"A successful curriculum adoption for any school district relies on both the content of the curriculum and the quality of its implementation," notes Dr. Julia Seaman, Research Director at Bay View Analytics.

"There remains room for improvement," Dr. Seaman adds. "High-quality curricula does not make up for the lack of effective professional development materials for teachers."

The complete report, What We Teach: K-12 Educators' Perceptions of Curriculum Quality, is released under a Creative Commons license and is available for download at

About Bay View Analytics 

Formerly known as the Babson Survey Research Group, Bay View Analytics ( conducts regional, national, and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting.

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SOURCE Bay View Analytics

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