Beyond Compliance: The Only Special Education Solution Designed to Improve Outcomes.
Special education has historically existed in a silo in our public education system, and has focused solely on compliance. Special educators spend over 75 hours a year completing administrative tasks associated with completing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and satisfying compliance, and special educators are stymied by compliance and due process associated. However, research has shown, and most recently the Supreme Court recognized in the landmark case Endrew F. vs. Douglas County, that compliance does not equate to improved outcomes for students. Education Modified aims to bring special education back into the classroom by providing a tool, armed with intelligence, to provide teachers with the latest learning science about a child's special needs, instant access to research based strategies, and a streamlined experience to capture, collaborate and pass on professional knowledge from year to year. Education Modified supports districts to go 'beyond compliance' by aiding in the implementation of legal accommodations and modifications in classroom, supported with instant access to content and tools, and a user experience that allows teachers to build upon their work, all while satisfying compliance on the backend. Education Modified is student-centered, data-driven, research-based, and teacher-focused.
Currently students with special needs are one of the most at-risk populations in our schools today- 20% more likely to be suspended and expelled, up to 40% less likely to graduate on time, and 12% less likely to be employed. Additionally, there is a national special educator shortage, with 45 states reporting that they cannot attract or retain special educators- and this is because the job is not only difficult, but we are asking these teachers to do two jobs: differentiation instruction to support the diverse needs of special populations, AND complete overwhelming administrative tasks in inefficient, legacy compliance systems.
Education Modified's mission is to provide districts with a research-based instructional tool that supports the implementation of special education instruction for any child, with any need, in any classroom. Our society knows more about special needs & neuro-diversity than we ever have before, but this information is not easily accessible, and cannot be the focus, of classroom teachers. We aim to change the dialogue around special education so it no longer focuses on compliance, but rather improved student outcomes based on what we know about a child's special needs. With our technology, we can support special educators, give them the tools they need to do their jobs well, and improve outcomes for this at risk population.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Boston, MA, USA
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
What makes our solution innovative:
In the US, existing SPED technologies focus exclusively on compliance of students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) without adequately integrating with day-to-day instruction. Education Modified bridges compliance to the classroom by empowering teachers with the latest research-based instructional strategies to effectively implement the IEP. EdMod has a database of 300+ strategies, which are tagged to students, evaluated for effectiveness, & easily communicated to all stakeholders. Our technology also allows easy input of IEP goals and a streamlined way to measure progress against them. As a single application that addresses instruction & compliance within existing workflows, Education Modified is innovating special education.
How technology is integral to our solution:
Education Modified is a Web-based Application, accessible from any platform, enabling easy collaboration between all stakeholders working with the same student. Integration into districts’ existing LMS systems using API technology allows seamless integration within existing workflows, rather than another siloed system.
A robust database of research-based strategies allow teachers to easily find the best content for every student need through filtering & smart keyword search. Meta-tagging makes recommendations based on student data & results of progress monitoring.
Education Modified leverages Natural Language Processing to automatically identify key parts of a goal, allowing educators to set up progress monitoring in a few clicks.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
Education Modified’s exemplary user experience will help teachers write better IEP goals in the process, and assist teachers with measuring progress of those goals. Education Modified will also provide user insights in a dashboard for schools and districts to better understand how the tools provided by Education Modified are being used to better instruction for students with special needs. We will also offer a more robust recommendation system, taking into account data tracked across thousands of students & teachers to better identify which strategies work for any given goal.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
Within the next 1-3 years, we expect our user base to triple as districts recognize that compliance in special education is not enough, and that providing teachers with appropriate content and tools via technology is essential to student growth. We anticipate the majority of this growth will be in areas affected by low-income, high-risk environments in the US. Education Modified’s 5 year vision is to become a highly-valued, category-leading solution, known for solving one of education’s biggest problems- connecting sped compliance to the classroom- and be responsible for the evolution of special education that empowers teachers and changes student lives.
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
The countries where we currently operate:
Where we plan to expand in the next 12 months:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
Education Modified targets integration partner's existing customer base by offering an add-on solution to tools teachers already use. We integrate with Learning Management Systems such as Schoology, Canvas and JumpRope, and have successfully sold to districts already using these products. Education Modified meets teachers where they are already lesson planning, grading and assessing students. Unlike traditional SPED compliance systems that exist as standalone products, teachers access relevant content and information for every student such as learning needs, information on diagnosis, strategies that work, support documents, graphic organizers, and past teacher professional memory, all directly from their LMS using Education Modified.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
Currently Education Modified has been accessed by over 4000 teachers with over 1000 paying users in 20 districts across the country, reaching 13,800 students from rural, urban and suburban areas. Teachers have reported having easy access to research-based strategies that are specific to student needs, and have reported they they feel more prepared with this content to get what they need when they need it. They have also reported increased feelings of confidence and support in addressing students with special needs using Education Modified.
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
Within the range of the next 12 to 36 months, we expect our core user base to more than triple as more and more districts identify that compliance in special education is not enough, and that providing teachers with appropriate content and tools via technology is essential to student growth. We anticipate that the majority of this growth will be in the US, particularly in areas affected by low-income, high-risk environments.
How our solution team is organized:For-Profit
How many people work on our solution team:6
How many years we have been working on our solution:3-4 years
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
Our team brings extensive experience in education, development, design, and product management. Our founders bring special education domain expertise from 15 years in NYC classrooms. Our team also consists of a speech & language pathologist turned UX designer, instructional coaches, an amazing product manager and a brilliant technologist. Together we have successfully brought edtech solutions to market. Located in Boston and Des Moines, our networks connect us to the leading education institutions & technology and startup communities. We have a proven track record of being able to attract and retain key roles needed for our growth and success.
Our revenue model:
Our current revenue model is a tiered subscription model, based on district size. A SaaS subscription-based model like this allows us to quickly scale up and incorporate new user bases into the platform, as well as build lifetime value for each customer. Subscriptions are renewed in full, in advance allowing us necessary capital to build and improve upon the product into each new school year. We currently have a 90% satisfaction rate from our users and an 86% renewal rate. We project that the value from our renewal customers will be a significant part of our revenue growth each year.
Why we are applying to Solve:
We believe Education Modified directly addresses this challenge and shares a similar mission to MIT Solve. Technology is key to supporting teachers in doing their jobs well, and to support student learning while collecting data on progress to better understand each student’s unique needs. Our mission is to increase access to education- regardless of learning challenges- and provide scale-able tech solutions. We are excited to join this community to learn about best practices in business models and designing for scale & growth. We currently work with WestEd through the Institute for Education Sciences, and are interested in continuing to collaborate.
The key barriers for our solution:
Our greatest barrier has been obtaining funding for the development of innovative solutions to track learning needs and collect data to correlate teacher input and student outcomes.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers:
- Melissa Corto CEO, Education Modified