Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2017-18

Published on March 27, 2019

Modified on March 27, 2019

Written By: 

Joseph R. FreidhoffMichigan Virtual

Suggested Citation

Freidhoff, J. R. (2019). Michigan’s k-12 virtual learning effectiveness report 2017-18. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual University. Available from https://mvlri.org/research/publications/michigans-k-12-virtual-learning-effectiveness-report-2017-18/

Executive Summary

Based on pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to MDE or CEPI, this report highlights 2017-18 enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 pupils. Detailed findings are presented in sections on schools, courses, and students as well as through over 50 data tables at the end of the report.

About 7% of all K-12 students in the state—over 112,000 students—took virtual courses in 2017-18. These students generated over 580,000 virtual course enrollments and were present in two-thirds of Michigan public school districts. Schools with part-time virtual learners that used providers other than Michigan Virtual were responsible for the majority of virtual enrollments. A little more than three-quarters of the virtual enrollments came from high school students, and the most highly-enrolled in virtual courses were those required for high school graduation. Two-thirds of the virtual enrollments were from students who were in poverty. The overall pass rate for virtual courses (55%) remained the same as 2016-17; however, there was sizable variation in student success.

Infographic summarizes the statistics in the immediately preceding paragraph.

View Infographic Download PDF Version Watch Report Overview

Introduction

This report presents analysis of information on virtual learners reported by schools to the state and shares findings in a highly consumable way to aid the evaluation of virtual learning programs. This year’s report is the sixth edition of this annual publication. Past reports are available through the MVLRI website.

The report is organized into several sections. The first section looks at schools as the unit of analysis. The next section focuses on the virtual courses taken. The third section focuses on students. The fourth section captures performance on statewide assessments. There is also a brief section containing maps of virtual use. Each section is meant to capture the essential findings without being overly data intensive; however, data tables have been included in the appendices to provide those interested with more in-depth information. Information about the report’s methodology is captured in Appendix A. Please note that in some tables and figures, the percentage data may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Schools

Fast Facts

  • 598 school districts reported at least one virtual enrollment. This represents two-thirds of Michigan school districts.
  • Over half of the 1,158 schools with virtual enrollments had 100 or more virtual enrollments.
  • 74% of schools with virtual enrollments had a general education school emphasis; 25% had an alternative education emphasis.
  • 87% of schools with virtual learning were LEA schools.
  • LEA schools accounted for 58% of the virtual enrollments; PSA schools generated 39% of the virtual enrollments.
  • 57% of virtual enrollments came from schools with part-time virtual learning options.
  • LEA schools are increasingly creating full-time virtual schools.
  • More successful students in face-to-face courses tend to be provided with online courses through Michigan Virtual, and Michigan Virtual students had the highest virtual pass rate (79%).
  • 97% of virtual enrollments came from schools with 100 or more virtual enrollments.
  • About 78% of virtual enrollments came from students in grades 9-12.
  • 29% of virtual enrollments came from suburban schools, the most of any locale.
  • Schools with a general education emphasis had a 63% virtual pass rate, outperforming those with an alternative education emphasis which had a pass rate of 44%.
  • 25% of schools had a school-wide virtual pass rate of 90% to 100%.

Number of Districts

For the 2017-18 school year, 598 districts reported having at least one virtual enrollment. This represented two-thirds of Michigan public school districts (see MDE Fast Facts 2017-18 for count of Michigan public school districts). Within those districts, 1,158 schools reported virtual enrollments.

By Grade Level

Across the 1,158 schools, 581,911 virtual enrollments were taken. Students in 12th grade enrolled in the most virtual courses (157,943) representing approximately 27% of all virtual enrollments. The overall pass rate for virtual enrollments was 55%, the same as the prior year. See Table F1 for a more specific breakdown of all the completion statuses. This ranged from a high of 70% in kindergarten to a low of 41% in 9th grade. See Table B1 for more information. Consistent with findings from previous years, virtual learners passed their virtual courses at a lower rate (55%) than they passed their non-virtual courses (79%). This gap of 24% is 1% larger than the 2016-17 school year. See Table B2.

By School-Level Virtual Pass Rate

Of the 1,158 schools with virtual enrollments, 289 or 25% had school-level virtual pass rates of 90% to 100%. A little more than half of schools had virtual pass rates of 70% or better. See Table B3.

By Entity Type

LEA schools (58%) and PSA schools (39%) accounted for almost all the virtual enrollments. Over 1,000 (87%) schools with virtual enrollments came from LEA schools while only 108 (9%) of the schools were PSAs. See Table B4. LEA schools had a higher pass rate (58%) than PSA schools (51%). See Table B5 or, for a more in-depth look at the completion statuses, see Table F2.

By Full-Time Virtual Schools

The number of full-time virtual schools expanded from 52 in 2016-17 to 70 in 2017-18, an increase of about 35%. Fifty-five of the 70 full-time virtual schools (79%) were LEA schools. The 13 PSA cyber schools accounted for 19% of the full-time virtual schools. See Table B6. About one-third of students attending full-time virtual schools did so at LEA schools with two-thirds attending a PSA cyber school. The number of enrollments from full-time virtual LEA schools jumped from 41,500 in 2016-17 to over 73,000 (76% increase) and now represents almost 30% of full-time virtual enrollments; however the 13 PSA cyber schools remain the virtual enrollment leader with almost 175,000 enrollments.  The pass rates between these two entity types varies somewhat with full-time virtual LEA schools at 47% and PSA cyber schools at 53%. See Table B7 and Table F3. In total, 43% of virtual enrollments came from cyber or full-time virtual schools – five percent higher than last year.

By Part-Time Virtual Schools

About 94% of the schools offering virtual learning do so to supplement their face-to-face course offerings. These 1,088 schools, referred to in this report as part-time virtual schools, were predominantly LEA schools (88%). See Table B8. Eighty-six percent of the part-time virtual students were enrolled through LEA schools and 12% through PSA schools. LEA schools accounted for over 265,000 virtual enrollments or 80% of the part-time enrollments. In total, part-time virtual enrollments accounted for 53% of all the virtual enrollments for the year. LEA schools had a pass rate of 61% whereas PSA schools had a pass rate of 47%. Overall, the pass rates for the part-time virtual schools (58%) was seven percentage points higher than the rate for the full-time virtual schools (51%). See Table B9 and Table F4.

In general, we know very little about the performance of various online course providers; most virtual programs buy their online courses from a third-party vendor. An exception is Michigan Virtual. Approximately 13% of the part-time virtual students took at least one virtual course with Michigan Virtual and accounted for slightly more than 27,000 enrollments (8% of part-time virtual enrollments). The Michigan Virtual pass rate was 22% higher (79%) than the rest of the part-time virtual enrollments (57%). See Table B10 and Table F5. There were, however, also important differences observed in the non-virtual performance between Michigan Virtual student and non-Michigan Virtual students. Students taking courses with Michigan Virtual passed their non-virtual courses 91% of the time, whereas the other part-time virtual students only passed their non-virtual courses 76% of the time. See Table B11.

By School Emphasis

Schools designated with General Education as their emphasis produced 339,762 (58%) of the virtual enrollments. Schools with Alternative Education as their emphasis accounted for 238,027 (41%) of the virtual enrollments. See Table B12. There was a considerable difference in virtual pass rates between these two types of schools. General Education schools had a 63% virtual pass rate, whereas Alternative Education schools had a 44% virtual pass rate (see Table B13 and Table F6), though this, too, varied by entity type. LEA schools, for instance, had a 71% virtual pass rate for General Education schools and a 44% virtual pass rate for Alternative Education schools. See Table B14.

By Number of Virtual Enrollments

Over half of schools with virtual enrollments (56%) had 100 or more virtual enrollments. These schools were responsible for 97% of the virtual enrollments. As has been observed in previous years, schools with less than 10 virtual enrollments were the next highest percentage of schools with 17%; however, they only generated .1% of the virtual enrollments. See Table B15.

Another trend that continued was that, in general, schools with fewer virtual enrollments per students performed better. Consider for instance, that 35% of schools with an average of one to two virtual enrollments per virtual learner had a virtual pass rate of 90% to 100% whereas only 13% of schools with an average of four or more virtual courses per virtual learner had a 90% to 100% pass rate. See Table B16.

By Locale

Rural schools represented about 35% of schools with virtual enrollments. Suburban settings provided the second most schools with 29%. Suburban schools, however, tallied the largest percentage of the virtual enrollments at 29%. For the first time, all four locales had more than 100,000 virtual enrollments. See Table B17. In each of the four locales, schools with 100 or more virtual enrollments accounted for the largest percentage of schools. Similarly, schools with less than 25 virtual enrollments was the second most likely scenario. See Table B18. Virtual pass rates varied by locale with rural and suburban schools having the highest virtual pass rate at 60% and those not specified having the lowest at 39%. Both city schools (16%) and those not specified (17%) had the highest percentage of schools with pass rates less than 20%. See Tables B19 and B20.

Courses

Fast Facts

  • 581,911 virtual enrollments were taken by Michigan K-12 students; the overall pass rate for virtual enrollments was 55%.
  • Virtual enrollments were spread across 943 different course titles.
  • 66% of virtual enrollments occurred in the core subject areas of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences and History.
  • The course titles with the highest enrollments for each core subject were:
    • English Language and Literature: English 9, English 10, English 12, and English 11
    • Mathematics: Geometry, Algebra II, Algebra I, and Consumer Math
    • Life and Physical Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physical Science
    • Social Sciences and History: U.S. History, Economics, World History, World History and Geography
  • The virtual pass rates for each core subject were:
    • English Language and Literature: 51%
    • Mathematics: 48%
    • Life and Physical Sciences: 52%
    • Social Sciences and History: 56%
  • 30 different Advanced Placement (AP) courses were taken virtually.
  • The percentage of enrollments was fairly consistent by subject area across rural, town, suburban, and city schools.
  • Online courses (defined as including a teacher in the virtual environment) produced 83% of the virtual enrollments. Digital learning (without a teacher in the virtual environment) and blended learning (some virtual, some face-to face instruction) each accounted for about 9% and 7% of the virtual enrollments, respectively.

Number of Courses

The 581,911 virtual enrollments came from 943 different course titles, as determined by unique SCED codes.

Courses by Subject Area

English Language and Literature was the subject area with the highest virtual enrollment with 108,698 enrollments – 19% of all virtual enrollments. Social Sciences and History, Mathematics, and Life and Physical Sciences were the other subject areas with 10% or more of the virtual enrollments. In high enrollment subject areas (greater than 25,000 virtual enrollments), virtual pass rates varied from a low of 48% in Mathematics to a high of 62% for Miscellaneous and Physical, Health, and Safety Education. See Table C1 and Table F7. The virtual pass rates were consistently lower than the non-virtual pass rate for the virtual learners in their non-virtual courses, a trend observed in past years. See Table C2.

Highest Virtual Enrollment Courses

For English Language and Literature, the most highly enrolled in virtual courses were 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English/Language Arts. Of those four, the pass rate was lowest for 9th grade English/Language Arts (39%) and consistently rose for each subsequent grade level to finish at 59% for 12th grade English/Language Arts. See Table C3.

In Mathematics, Geometry, Algebra II, and Algebra I were the virtual courses with the highest enrollments. The pass rate across the top ten most enrolled-in virtual mathematics courses ranged from a low of 33% for Algebra 1 – Part 1 to a high of 64% for Consumer Math. See Table C4.

Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science were the three course titles responsible for more than 10% of the virtual enrollments in Life and Physical Sciences courses. A quarter of all Life and Physical Sciences virtual courses were taken in Biology. Biology also had the lowest pass rate (45%) along with Physical Science of those in the top ten; the highest was Physics at 59%. See Table C5.

For Social Sciences and History, the three course titles of U.S. History – Comprehensive, Economics, and World History – Overview each yielded more than 10% of the virtual enrollments. Pass rates for the top ten most enrolled in courses ranged from a low of 43% in Modern World History to a high of 74% for Psychology. See Table C6.

Thirty AP courses were taken virtually in 2017-18. AP Psychology was the most popular course accounting for 17% of the 3,735 AP enrollments. Over half of the virtual AP courses were taken by Michigan Virtual students. The pass rate for AP courses taken virtually was 86%. See Table C7. The pass rate for non-virtual AP courses taken by virtual learners was 93%.

Subject Area Enrollments by Locale

Course enrollment patterns were consistent across locales. For instance, Mathematics represented between 16% and 18% of the virtual enrollments for all (rural, town, suburb, city, and not specified) locales. The range was also 2% (12% to 14%) for Life and Physical Sciences and 4% in English Language and Literature. See Table C8. Pass rates in virtual courses also varied across subject areas and locale. For instance, in English Language and Literature, pass rates fell between 37% for not specified schools to 55% for rural, suburban, and town schools. In Mathematics, pass rates ranged from 28% (not specified) to 53% (suburban). See Table C9.

Subject Area Enrollments by Student Sex

Males and females enrolled in subject areas in similar proportions. For the four highest enrollment subject areas, the proportion of enrollment from males and females was within one percent of each other. Pass rates did, however, show more variability by student sex; in most cases, females outperformed males – a trend that has been consistent with past years. See Table C10.

Courses by Virtual Method

Schools classified the virtual courses into one of three methods: Blended Learning, Digital Learning, or Online Learning. See page 413 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 1.4.

  • Blended Learning – A hybrid instructional delivery model where pupils are provided content, instruction, and assessment at a supervised educational facility where the pupil and teacher are in the same physical location and in part through internet-connected learning environments with some degree of pupil control over time, location, and pace of instruction. For a course to be considered blended, at least 30% of the course content is delivered online.
  • Digital Learning – A course of study that is capable of generating a credit or a grade that is provided in an interactive internet-connected learning environment that does not contain an instructor within the online environment itself. There may be a teacher of record assigned to the course, but this teacher does not provide instruction to students through the online environment. For a course to be considered online as opposed to blended, all (or almost all) the course content is delivered online.
  • Online Course – A course of study that is capable of generating a credit or a grade that is provided in an interactive internet-connected learning environment, where pupils are separated from their teachers by time or location, or both. For a course to be considered online as opposed to blended, all (or almost all) the course content is delivered online.

Blended Learning enrollments accounted for 7% of the virtual enrollments and had a pass rate of 55%. Digital Learning totaled 9% of the enrollments with a 55% pass rate. Online courses represented the majority of the enrollments (83%) and yielded a pass rate of 55%. See Table C11.

Students

Fast Facts

  • 112,688 K-12 students took at least one virtual course which represents 7% of Michigan public school students.
  • 86% of virtual learners were in high school; 33% were seniors and 21% were juniors.
  • 49% of virtual learners passed all their virtual courses. Twenty-three percent of virtual learners did not pass any of their virtual courses.
  • Of the 26,462 students who did not pass any of their virtual courses, 42% took only one or two courses. Almost 12,000 students took and did not pass five or more virtual courses with more than 3,000 students taking and not passing 11 or more virtual courses.
  • For part-time virtual learning, Michigan Virtual students were the most successful, even when considering their higher non-virtual performance.
  • Female students had a higher pass rate (57%) than did males (53%).
  • Students in poverty made up the majority of virtual learners (57%) and virtual enrollments (66%). Students in poverty also had a lower pass rate (49% v. 69%).
  • Students using special education services made up 12% of the virtual learners.
  • Pass rates were higher for students taking fewer virtual courses. Students taking one or two virtual courses had a 76% pass rate compared to 51% for those taking five or more.
  • White students represented 68% of virtual students; African-Americans were 17%.

By Grade Level

For the 2017-18 school year, 112,688 Michigan K-12 students, approximately 7% of students in the state, took at least one virtual course. This was an 11% increase in the number of virtual learners compared to what was reported for 2016-17. Only about 6% of the state’s virtual learners were in grades K-5. Grades 6-8 were responsible for about 9% of the virtual learners. High school grade levels generated 86% of the virtual learners. Over 33% of virtual learners were high school seniors and more than 21% were juniors. See Table D1.

By Student Sex

There were slightly more females (56,928) enrolled in virtual courses than males (55,789), though from a percentage perspective, each represented about 50% of the population. Females had a 4% higher pass rate (57% compared to 53%), continuing the trend seen in past years of females outperforming their male counterparts on this measure. See Table D2 and Table F8.

By Race/Ethnicity

White students made up 68% of virtual students with African American students totaling the second highest percentage with 17%. Asian students had the only pass rate (69%) above 60%. See Table D3 and Table F9.

By Poverty Status

Fifty-seven percent of virtual learners were classified as living in poverty. This is about 7% higher than the percentage of K-12 students statewide who were eligible for free or reduced lunch (50%) in the fall of 2017 2017 (see the Fall State Free and Reduced Lunch Count file for the 2017-18 school year). Students living in poverty took 66% of the virtual enrollments for the year. This is 4% higher than the percentage of virtual enrollments from students in poverty in the 2016-17 school year. The pass rate for students in poverty (49%) was 20 percentage points lower than students who were not in poverty (69%). See Table D4 and Table F10.

In addition to the performance gap between those in poverty and those not in poverty, there were also differences in non-virtual pass rates. Virtual learners in poverty had a 70% pass rate in their non-virtual courses, 21 percentage points better than their virtual pass rate. Interestingly, students not in poverty had an 87% pass rate in their non-virtual courses, an improvement of 18 percentage points over their virtual pass rate. Thus, students in poverty had a larger performance gap between their virtual and non-virtual pass rates than did students who were not in poverty. See Table D5.

Differences were apparent by virtual type. Seventy percent of Full-Time learners were in poverty compared to 58% of Part-Time (Non-Michigan Virtual) learners and 27% of the Part-Time (Michigan Virtual) learners. The pass rate for Full-Time students in poverty was 46% compared to 50% for Part-Time (Non-Michigan Virtual) and 68% for Part-Time (Michigan Virtual). See Table D6.

By Special Education Status

Students using special education services made up 12% of the virtual learners and 13% of the virtual enrollments. These percentages are similar to the statewide percentage of students using special education services (13.1%) for the 2017-18 school year (see the 2017-18 Special Education Data Portraits: Disability Snapshot). Students using special education services had a virtual pass rate of 48% compared to 56% for those who did not. See Table D7 and Table F11.

By Non-Virtual Course Performance

Part-time virtual learners with at least three non-virtual courses were classified into one of three categories based on their success in those non-virtual courses. The three categories were:

  • Passed all Non-Virtual Courses
  • Did Not Pass 1 or 2 Non-Virtual Courses
  • Did Not Pass 3 or More Non-Virtual Courses

In total, 63% of students had at least three or more non-virtual enrollments. Of that group, 49% of students passed all their non-virtual courses, 22% did not pass one or two, and 29% did not pass three or more. There were clear differences in virtual pass rates between the three categories. Students passing all of their non-virtual courses had an 86% virtual pass rate. Students who did not pass one or two non-virtual courses had a virtual pass rate of 62%, and those with the lowest non-virtual success had a virtual pass rate of only 39%. See Table D8.

There were also differences for these three groups by virtual type. Part-Time (Michigan Virtual) learners consistently had higher virtual pass rates (89%, 73%, and 49%, respectively) compared to the Part-Time (Non-Michigan Virtual) learners (85%, 61%, and 38%, respectively). See Table D9.

By Virtual Course Performance

Forty-nine percent of virtual learners passed every virtual enrollment they took. Twenty-three percent did not pass any of their virtual enrollments, and 28% passed some, but not all of their virtual courses. Students who passed all of their virtual courses were responsible for 31% of the virtual enrollments. Students with mixed success generated 48% of the enrollments, and students who did not pass any of their virtual courses contributed 22% of the virtual enrollments. See Table D10.

For the students who did not pass any of their virtual courses, 42% only took one or two virtual courses. On the other hand, 11,839 students did not pass five or more virtual courses, and a staggering 3,005 students did not pass 11 or more virtual courses. Further analysis of students failing all of their 11 or more virtual courses showed that 1,437 came from Full-Time PSA cyber schools; thus, about 9% of virtual learners in PSA cyber schools took 11 or more virtual courses and did not pass any of them. Over 500 of the full-time LEA schools were in this group representing 6% of the students attending such schools. About a thousand students in this group were reported by part-time virtual schools. Just shy of 500 students were using special education services (16%) and slightly fewer than 2,500 of these students (83%) were in poverty. See Table D11 and Table F12.

What Table F12 makes clear is that for students who do not pass any of their virtual enrollments, “withdrawns” and “incompletes” were rampant. For the virtual enrollments from students who did not pass any of their virtual enrollments, 54% had a “Withdrawn” status (exited, failing, or passing) and another 17% were classified as “Incomplete”. For those taking 11 or more virtual courses, 54% had a “Withdrawn” status and 19% were marked “Incomplete”. In each case, only about a quarter of the virtual enrollments were actually classified as “Completed/Failed”. Please see the section on Pass Rate Calculations for more elaboration on the impact of such issues on pass rates.

By Virtual Usage

Generally speaking, virtual learners did better when they took fewer virtual courses. Students taking one to two virtual courses had a pass rate of 76% compared to a pass rate of 63% for those taking three to four virtual courses and a pass rate of 51% for students taking five or more virtual courses. Almost half of students fell under the description of taking one or two virtual courses; however, 41% were found to have taken five or more virtual courses during the year. See Table D12.

State Assessment

Fast Facts

  • 49% of 11th grade virtual learners who took the SAT were proficient in the Reading/Writing component. About a quarter tested proficient in Math.
  • Higher proficiency rates were seen with higher non-virtual performance and with students who were not in poverty.
  • Students taking virtual courses with Michigan Virtual had the highest levels of proficiency on the standardized assessments.

By Subject Area

State assessment data can be used to provide an independent measure of student performance. Based on SAT and M-STEP data from students in 11th grade, virtual learners showed lower percentages reaching proficiency on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (SAT), Mathematics (SAT), and Social Studies (M-STEP) examinations than the statewide proficiency rates. Just under half of the 11th grade virtual learners tested proficient in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and about a quarter were proficient in Mathematics. See Table E1.

By Non-Virtual Performance

As would be expected, the percentage of virtual learners testing proficient on these state tests varied considerably when taking into account their non-virtual performance. For instance, students taking a minimum of three non-virtual courses and passing all of them had proficiency rates that exceeded the statewide average for each of tests. Students who did not pass one or two of their non-virtual courses and those not passing three or more of their non-virtual courses had much lower rates of proficiency.  See Table E2.

By Poverty Status

Students in poverty consistently recorded proficiency rates that were 30% lower than their peers who were not in poverty. As an example, 32% of virtual learners in poverty scored proficient on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam compared to 66% for those who were not in poverty. See Table E3.

By Provider Type

Students taking virtual courses with Michigan Virtual had the highest rates of proficiency on the assessments, exceeding the state average on all examinations. Part-Time (Non-Michigan Virtual) learners had rates that were higher than those from the Full-Time type. See Table E4. When considering the non-virtual performance of students, the Michigan Virtual students consistently outperformed the Part-Time (Non-Michigan Virtual) type by twenty percentage points or more. See Table E5.

Maps

Berrien, Eastern U.P., Lapeer, and Tuscola ISDs/RESAs had at least 15% of students in their service areas take a virtual course in 2017-18. In total, there were 17 ISDs/RESA with 10% or more of the students taking virtual courses – an increase of five over the prior year. See Figure 2.

Map shows Michigan ISDs colored by the percentage of virtual courses. All but six counties have some color of blue meaning they have at least 5% of more of their students taking a virtual course (non-cyber) in 2017-18. In contrast, 17 ISDs had more than 10%; see the preceding paragraph for more detail.

 

Figure 2. 2017-18 Percentage of Students Who Took a Virtual Course (Non-Cyber) by ISD

One in five students attending a PSA cyber school resided within the Wayne RESA service area; non-resident status data was available for all but one PSA cyber school. The Macomb ISD service area was the only other area with 1,000 or more students attending PSA cyber schools. Genesee, Kent, Ingham, and Oakland ISD each had between 500 and less than 1,000 students from their area attending PSA cyber schools. See Figure 3.

Map shows Michigan ISDs colored by the percentage of PSA cyber students by resident ISD. The majority of counties are white meaning they have less than 100 PSA cyber students in 2017-18. Counties with the highest percentage cluster around the Wayne, Macomb, Ingham, and Kent counties.

Figure 3. 2017-18 Count of PSA Cyber School Students by Resident ISD

Note: Non-resident status data was available for all but one PSA cyber school. Statistics and the map found above were created based on available information.

Conclusion

This year’s report represents the eighth year of data on the effectiveness of virtual learning in Michigan’s K-12 system. Many trends witnessed in past years continue to exist. See Table 1. The use of virtual learning as evidenced by the number of virtual learners, virtual enrollments, and schools with virtual learners continues to grow. At the same time, performance in virtual courses has been trending downward, though flattened out this year.

Table 1. Summary of Virtual Learning Metrics by School Year Since 2010-11
School Year # of Virtual Learners # of Virtual Enrollments # of Schools Virtual Pass Rate
2010-11 36,348 89,921 654 66%
2011-12 52,219 153,583 850 62%
2012-13 55,271 185,053 906 60%
2013-14 76,122 319,630 1,007 57%
2014-15 91,261 445,932 1,072 60%
2015-16 90,878 453,570 1,026 58%
2016-17 101,359 517,470 1,102 55%
2017-18 112,688 581,911 1,158 55%

While the overall pass rate remains a reason for pessimism, the data also indicate reasons for optimism. Almost half of virtual learners passed all of their virtual courses and a quarter of schools with virtual learners had school-wide virtual learning pass rates of 90%-100%. Unfortunately, such successful implementations of virtual learning are outnumbered by poorly performing programs. There remain many kids—too many—having little to no success with virtual learning. Almost a quarter of students did not pass any of their virtual courses with close to 12,000 students taking at least five virtual courses and passing none of them.

The data in this report represent an opportunity for schools and educational stakeholders to have critical conversations about what is working and for whom it is working, and what is not working and under what circumstances those results are occurring. MVLRI has created many resources that can assist schools in reflecting upon and improving their virtual programs. These resources include an expanding series of practical guides designed for students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. MVLRI has also worked with multiple Michigan schools to provide quality reviews of their online learning programs. More information about online program review opportunities is available on the MVLRI website.

Appendix A – Methodology

About the Data

The data for this report came from the following sources:

  • Michigan Student Data System – School Year 2017-2018;
  • Educational Entity Master (EEM);
  • Michigan Student Data System Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) – Collection Year 2017-2018;
  • Michigan Virtual Student Enrollment List – School Year 2017-2018 (Supplied by Michigan Virtual); and
  • Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2016-17 – Used for comparing this year’s data with the 2016-17 school year.

Because the data for this report incorporates this variety of sources, the findings within may differ from those found through the MI School Data portal which may use different query parameters.

The majority of enrollments classified as virtual in this report were treated as such due to the TSDL virtual method field indicating virtual delivery. However, this field is known to contain inaccuracies. For the purposes of this report, additional methods were used to identify enrollments with a high likelihood of having been delivered virtually. Each of the methods used, along with the percentage of enrollments it contributed to the total, are outlined below.

  • TSDL Virtual Method Flag = Yes. Enrollments where the TSDL virtual method field was set to “Blended Learning,” “Digital Learning,” or “Online Course” were treated as virtual. According to the TSDL Data Collection Manual, the virtual method field “indicates the type of virtual instruction the student is receiving. This could be virtual learning, online learning or computer courses; distance learning; or self-scheduled virtual learning” (See page 413 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 1.4). This strategy yielded 99% (573,604) of the virtual enrollments.
  • TSDL Local Course Title Field References Michigan Virtual. The strategy of searching the local course title field for common references to Michigan Virtual yielded less than 1% (621) of the virtual enrollments. The wild card search criteria for Michigan Virtual consisted of the following: ‘%MI Virtual%’, ‘%Mich Virt%’, ‘%MIVHS%’, ‘%MIVS%’, ‘%MVS%’, ‘%MVU%’, ‘%VH’, ‘%MVHS%’, ‘%MIVU%’, ‘%VHS%’, ‘MV%’, ‘%MV’, ‘%Michigan Virtual%’, ‘%IS: MV%’, ‘%IS:MV%’, ‘%MI Virt%’, ‘%MV HS%’, ‘Virtual HS%’, and ‘Mich. Virtual High School%’.
  • Cyber School Enrollments Not Marked as Virtually Delivered. Less than 1% (1,903) were enrollments reported by cyber schools that were not marked as being delivered virtually.
  • Local Course Title Field References Common Third Party Providers. Searching the local course title field for common references to known third-party providers of virtual courses yielded less than 1% (2,457) of the virtual enrollments. The wild card search criteria for common third-party providers consisted of the following: ‘%Apex%’, ‘APX%’, ‘%Aventa%’, ‘%BYU%’, ‘%Brigham%’, ‘%Compass%’, ‘%Edgen%’, ‘%2020%’, ‘%20/20%’, ‘%20-20%’, ‘%E20%’, ‘%Edison%’, ‘%FLVS%’, ‘%FVS%’, ‘%GenNet%’, ‘%Gen Net%’, ‘%K12 Virtual%’, ‘%K12:%’, ‘%K12vs%’, ‘%Lincoln Int%’, ‘%Little Lincoln%’, ‘%- Lincoln%’, ‘%(Lincoln)%’, ‘%Lincoln’, ‘%UNL%’, ‘%Middlebury%’, ‘%Nova net%’, ‘%Novanet%’, ‘%Odyssey%’,‘%Odware%’, ‘ODY%’, ‘%(OD%’, ‘%Edmentum%’, and ‘%Plato%’.
  • TSDL Local Course Title Field References Common Generic Labels for Online or Virtual Learning. Searching the local course title field for common references to online, distance, or virtual learning yielded less than 1% (3,326) of the virtual enrollments. The wild card search criteria for common generic labels for online or virtual learning consisted of the following: ‘%Online%’, ‘%On-line%’, ‘%On line%’, ‘%onl’, ‘%onli’, ‘%onlin’, ‘%- OL’, ‘%-OL’, ‘%O/L%’, ‘OL %’, ‘%STW%’, ‘%E-Learn%’, ‘%E-LRN%’, ‘%Virtual%’, ‘%- virt%’, and ‘%- DL’.

Michigan Virtual Students

If a non-cyber school flagged a student as having at least one virtual enrollment with Michigan Virtual, all virtually delivered enrollments for that student were flagged as being provided by Michigan Virtual. It is worth noting that not all of the virtual enrollments from these students were delivered by Michigan Virtual, but there was no clear way to determine which of the virtual enrollments were not from Michigan Virtual. Therefore, this report attributes all virtual enrollments from these students to Michigan Virtual.

Pass Rate Calculations

For this report, the pass rate was calculated based on the values recorded in the “Completion Status” field. For more information about the Completion Status field, including definitions for each status, see page 407 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 1.4. Column one of Table A1 displays the various statuses reported by schools for the virtual enrollments.

Table A1. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status
Completion Status # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 5,392 1%
Completed / Failed 82,583 14%
Completed / Passed 321,270 55%
Incomplete 51,717 9%
Ongoing Enrolled 5,094 1%
Testing Out 105 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 66,286 11%
Withdrawn / Failing 16,520 3%
Withdrawn / Passing 32,944 6%
Total 581,911 100%

Throughout this report, the pass rate calculated simply represents the percentage of virtual enrollments with a status of “Completed/Passed”. Notice that the percentage of enrollments with a “Completed/Passed” status in Table A1 matches the statewide pass rate. This pass rate formula remains consistent with past reports. Please keep in mind that calculating the pass rate in this manner will result in the lowest possible percentage.

To illustrate why this is, consider the completion status of “Audited (No Credit Issued)”. These virtual enrollments are not “failures” per se; however, including these enrollments in the total counts adds to the formula’s denominator without impacting to the numerator, the effect of which is to lower the percentage of other completion statuses including “Completed/Passed”. Another example is enrollments with a completion status of “Incomplete”. About nine percent of the virtual enrollments in this report were classified as “Incomplete”. As such, they are treated in the report’s pass rate formula as zero passes, even though some may eventually be awarded a passing status. Finally, it is unclear how to best treat enrollments with a “Withdrawn” status. For instance, 6% of the virtual enrollments in 2017-18 were marked as “Withdrawn/Passing,” meaning that the student was passing the course at the time the student was withdrawn. Should these enrollments be counted as failures? What about students whose enrollments were marked as “Withdrawn/Exited” (11% of the virtual enrollments)? There is no way to determine whether that exiting occurred in the first few weeks of class or the final weeks of class. The data do not provide insight into whether the student was reenrolled in a different course or whether it was too late for reenrollment in a credit-bearing opportunity for the student.

The research team raises these issues because they represent questions for which there are no definitive answers. In the end, the team decided to report the pass rate as the percentage of all virtual enrollments that were reported as “Completed/Passed”. To provide readers with better idea of the impact of this approach, additional data tables are provided in Appendix F to allow interested readers in drawing their own conclusions and calculating their own formulas for many of the pass rates reported.

Data Limitations

Because of the methodology described above, some enrollments are counted as virtual in this report that should not be – either because they were mistakenly marked as virtual by the school and/or because the local course title searches implemented by the research team yielded false positives. On the other hand, it is also safe to assume that some enrollments that should have been marked as virtual were not, both because they were not correctly flagged by the school and because the local course title did not give an indication of its virtual nature that aligned with the conventions used in the strategies outlined above. Consequently, the figures in this report should be treated as estimates that, generally speaking, convey the trends observed for the school year.

One final caveat for interpreting the results published in this report: There is clear variability in what schools report to the state as a “course.” Some records align well with reporting conventions outlined by the U.S. Department of Education under their School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED). However, a review of the data suggests that many schools submit course records that may be better described as course units or lessons. Hence, while one district may report a single course for a child, for instance, Algebra I, another school might submit five such records, all with the same subject areas and course identifier codes, but with different local course IDs. Table A2 provides a glimpse into such reporting variability. Consider the part-time schools. For that group, 47% of the students had 11 to 15 courses reported (including both virtual and non-virtual enrollments), but five percent of part-time students had more than that. This issue is pointed out to alert readers that not all courses likely represent a semester- or trimester-length unit. Overall, however, such “over-reporting” seems to have more of an impact on enrollment counts than on the pass rates reported.

Table A2. 2017-18 Percentage of Students by Total Student Course Counts (Virtual and Non-Virtual) and Full- or Part-Time Schools
Total Course Count by Student  Full-Time Part-Time 
1 to 5 14% 10%
6 to 10 34% 26%
11 to 15 47% 47%
16 to 20 4% 12%
21+ 1% 5%
Total 100% 100%

Appendix – B School Tables

Note: Clicking on the orange hyperlinked table number will return to the section of the report that discusses the table.

Table B1. 2017-18 Count and Pass Rate of K-12 Virtual Enrollments by Grade Level
Grade Level # of Enrolls % of Enrolls % Change Pass Rate % Change from 16-17
K 7,502 1% 21% 70% +5%
1 8,175 1% 9% 67% -1%
2 10,497 2% 19% 61% -7%
3 10,005 2% 12% 71% +5%
4 11,522 2% 19% 69% +3%
5 11,805 2% 11% 69% +3%
6 16,898 3% 24% 65% +6%
7 23,038 4% 20% 63% +5%
8 28,819 5% 20% 59% +1%
9 89,944 15% 12% 41% +2%
10 102,163 18% 12% 46% -2%
11 103,600 18% 6% 55% +1%
12 157,943 27% 12% 62% -1%
Total 581,911 100% 12% 55% 0%
Table B2. 2017-18 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners in Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses
Grade Level Virtual Pass Rate Non-Virtual Pass Rate
K 70% 71%
1 67% 70%
2 61% 67%
3 71% 77%
4 69% 79%
5 69% 80%
6 65% 85%
7 63% 82%
8 59% 78%
9 41% 69%
10 46% 74%
11 55% 81%
12 62% 82%
Total 55% 79%
Table B3. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Schools by School Pass Rate
School Pass Rate # of Schools % of Schools
0% to <10% 77 7%
10% to <20% 25 2%
20% to <30% 54 5%
30% to <40% 73 6%
40% to <50% 79 7%
50% to <60% 110 9%
60% to <70% 122 11%
70% to <80% 147 13%
80% to <90% 182 16%
90% to 100% 289 25%
Total 1,158 100%
Table B4. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by Entity Type
Entity Type # of Schools % of Schools # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
ISD School 29 3% 7,094 1%
LEA School 1,009 87% 338,654 58%
LEA Unique Education Provider 12 1% 7,875 1%
PSA School 108 9% 228,288 39%
Total 1,158 100% 581,911 100%
Table B5. 2017-18 Virtual Pass Rate by Entity Type
Entity Type Pass Count # of Enrolls Pass Rate
ISD School 3,803 7,094 54%
LEA School 195,229 338,654 58%
LEA Unique Education Provider 5,134 7,875 65%
PSA School 117,104 228,288 51%
Total 321,270 581,911 55%
Table B6. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Full-Time (FT) Virtual or Cyber School
Entity Type # of FT Schools % of FT Schools
ISD School 1 1%
LEA School 55 79%
LEA Unique Education Provider 1 1%
PSA School 13 19%
Total 70 100%
Table B7. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Enrollments from Full-Time (FT) Virtual or Cyber Schools with Pass Rates
Entity Type # of FT Students % of FT Students # of FT Enrolls % of FT Enrolls Pass Rate
ISD School NR NR NR NR NR
LEA School 8,762 34% 73,061 29% 47%
LEA Unique Education Provider NR NR NR NR NR
PSA School 16,871 65% 174,352 70% 53%
Total 25,823 100% 248,749 100% 51%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were less than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell value.

Table B8. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Part-Time (PT) Virtual Schools
Entity Type # of PT Schools % of PT Schools
ISD School 28 3%
LEA School 954 88%
LEA Unique Education Provider 11 1%
PSA School 95 9%
Total 1,088 100%
Table B9. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Enrollments from Part-Time (PT) Virtual Schools with Pass Rates
Entity Type # of PT Students % of PT Students # of PT Enrolls % of PT Enrolls Pass Rate
ISD School 1,499 2% 6,433 2% 51%
LEA School 76,086 86% 265,593 80% 61%
LEA Unique Education Provider 1,351 2% 7,200 2% 64%
PSA School 10,190 12% 53,936 16% 47%
Total 88,327 100% 333,162 100% 58%
Table B10. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students from Part-Time (PT) Virtual Schools with Pass Rates by Provider Type
Provider Type # of PT Students % of PT Students # of PT Enrolls % of PT Enrolls  Pass Rate
PT (Michigan Virtual) 11,573 13% 27,060 8% 79%
PT (Non-MV) 76,754 87% 306,102 92% 57%
Total 88,327 100% 333,162 100% 58%
Table B11. 2017-18 Pass Rate Comparison of Part-Time (PT) Virtual Learners for Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses by Provider Type
Provider Type Virtual Pass Rate Non-Virtual Pass Rate
PT (Michigan Virtual) 79% 91%
PT (Non-MV) 57% 76%
Total 58% 79%
Table B12. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by School Emphasis
School Emphasis # of Schools % of Schools # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
Alternative Education 285 25% 238,027 41%
General Education 852 74% 339,762 58%
Reportable Program NR 0% NR 0%
Special Education NR 2% NR 1%
Total 1,158 100% 581,911 100%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were less than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell value.

Table B13. 2017-18 Virtual Pass Rate by School Emphasis
School Emphasis Pass Count # of Enrolls Pass Rate
Alternative Education 105,261 238,027 44%
General Education 214,348 339,762 63%
Reportable Program NR NR NR
Special Education NR NR 36%
Total 321,270 581,911 55%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were less than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell value.

Table B14. 2017-18 Virtual Pass Rates for General Education and Alternative Education Schools by Entity Type
Entity Type General Ed Pass Rate Alternative Ed Pass Rate
ISD School 75% NR
LEA School 71% 44%
LEA Unique Education Provider NR 66%
PSA School 55% 41%
Total 63% 44%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were less than 10 schools for that cell.

Table B15. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by Number of Virtual Enrollments per School
# of Virtual Enrolls Per School # of Schools % of Schools # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
1 to 9 193 17% 768 0%
10 to 19 73 6% 1,028 0%
20 to 29 41 4% 972 0%
30 to 39 34 3% 1,173 0%
40 to 49 45 4% 1,992 0%
50 to 59 24 2% 1,300 0%
60 to 69 30 3% 1,926 0%
70 to 79 21 2% 1,584 0%
80 to 89 23 2% 1,925 0%
9o to 99 21 2% 1,981 0%
100+ 653 56% 567,262 97%
Total 1,158 100% 581,911 100%
Table B16. 2017-18 Percentage of Schools by Ratio of Virtual Courses to Student and School Pass Rate
School Pass Rate 1 to 2 Virtual Courses /  Learner 3 to 4 Virtual Courses / Learner 4+ Virtual Courses / Learner
0% to <10% 5% 6% 11%
10% to <20% 1% 2% 5%
20% to <30% 1% 3% 12%
30% to <40% 3% 6% 12%
40% to <50% 4% 7% 12%
50% to <60% 6% 8% 15%
60% to <70% 8% 14% 10%
70% to <80% 15% 15% 6%
80% to <90% 21% 18% 4%
90% to 100% 35% 21% 13%
Total 100% 100% 100%
Table B17. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by Locale
Locale # of Schools % of Schools # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
City 187 16% 140,463 24%
Not Specified 47 4% 58,785 10%
Rural 411 35% 109,993 19%
Sub 337 29% 169,915 29%
Town 176 15% 102,755 18%
Total 1,158 100% 581,911 100%
Table B18. 2017-18 Percentage of Schools with Virtual Enrollments by Virtual Enrollment Totals and Locale
Locale 1 to 24 Enrolls 25 to 49 Enrolls 50 to 74 Enrolls 75 to 99 Enrolls 100+ Enrolls Total
City 34% 7% 4% 3% 52% 100%
Not Specified 19% 9% 4% 0% 68% 100%
Rural 21% 12% 6% 9% 52% 100%
Sub 29% 6% 4% 1% 60% 100%
Town 19% 5% 7% 7% 61% 100%
Table B19. 2017-18 Virtual Pass Rate by Locale
Locale Pass Rate % Change from 16-17
City 51% 0%
Not Specified 39% -10%
Rural 60% -2%
Sub 60% +3%
Town 59% +6%
Total 55% 0%
Table B20. 2017-18 Percentage of Schools with Virtual Enrollments by Building Pass Rate and Locale
Locale 0% to <20% Pass Rate 20% to <40% Pass Rate 40% to <60% Pass Rate 60% to <80% Pass Rate 80% to 100% Pass Rate Total
City 16% 10% 16% 14% 45% 100%
Not Specified 17% 23% 15% 17% 28% 100%
Rural 5% 8% 19% 23% 45% 100%
Sub 9% 14% 14% 27% 36% 100%
Town 7% 10% 19% 31% 33% 100%

Appendix – C Course Tables

Note: Clicking on the orange hyperlinked table number will return to the section of the report that discusses the table.

Table C1. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Subject Area
Subject Area # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 1,165 0% 73%
Architecture and Construction 305 0% 80%
Business and Marketing 7,978 1% 69%
Communication and Audio / Visual Technology 2,991 1% 63%
Computer and Information Sciences 11,014 2% 62%
Engineering and Technology 5,698 1% 64%
English Language and Literature 108,698 19% 51%
Fine and Performing Arts 33,972 6% 58%
Foreign Language and Literature 35,920 6% 58%
Health Care Sciences 3,415 1% 68%
Hospitality and Tourism 705 0% 70%
Human Services 1,178 0% 78%
Life and Physical Sciences 78,841 14% 52%
Manufacturing 127 0% 54%
Mathematics 99,235 17% 48%
Military Science 53 0% 68%
Miscellaneous 48,638 8% 62%
Nonsubject Specific 850 0% 63%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education 43,465 7% 62%
Public, Protective, and Government Services 1,886 0% 69%
Religious Education and Theology 142 0% 85%
Social Sciences and History 95,493 16% 56%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics 142 0% 75%
Total 581,911 100% 55%
Table C2. 2017-18 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners for Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses by Subject Area
Subject Area Virtual Pass Rate Non-Virtual Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 73% 88%
Architecture and Construction 80% 88%
Business and Marketing 69% 87%
Communication and Audio / Visual Technology 63% 86%
Computer and Information Sciences 62% 81%
Engineering and Technology 64% 87%
English Language and Literature 51% 78%
Fine and Performing Arts 58% 86%
Foreign Language and Literature 58% 79%
Health Care Sciences 68% 85%
Hospitality and Tourism 70% 79%
Human Services 78% 89%
Life and Physical Sciences 52% 77%
Manufacturing 54% 82%
Mathematics 48% 75%
Military Science 68% 85%
Miscellaneous 62% 75%
Nonsubject Specific 63% 85%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education 62% 81%
Public, Protective, and Government Services 69% 85%
Religious Education and Theology 85% 83%
Social Sciences and History 56% 78%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics 75% 81%
Total 55% 79%
Table C3. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Course Title for the Top 10 Most Enrolled in English Language and Literature Courses
English Language and Literature Course Titles # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
English / Language Arts I (9th grade) 20,729 19% 39%
English / Language Arts II (10th grade) 17,876 16% 43%
English / Language Arts IV (12th grade) 16,129 15% 59%
English / Language Arts III  (11th grade) 15,891 15% 53%
Language Arts (grade 8) 3,705 3% 53%
Language Arts (grade 5) 2,942 3% 61%
Language Arts (grade 7) 2,882 3% 56%
English Language and Literature – Other 2,664 2% 56%
Language Arts (grade 4) 2,591 2% 64%
American Literature 2,028 2% 53%
Total 87,437 80% 50%

Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 108,698 for this subject area.

Table C4. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Course Title for the Top 10 Most Enrolled in Mathematics Courses
Mathematics Course Titles # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Geometry 20,009 20% 43%
Algebra II 17,295 17% 48%
Algebra I 14,352 14% 38%
Consumer Math 6,604 7% 64%
Algebra I-Part 1 4,991 5% 33%
Algebra I-Part 2 4,306 4% 34%
Mathematics – Other 4,108 4% 49%
Pre-Algebra 3,756 4% 48%
Mathematics (grade 7) 3,039 3% 58%
General Math 2,686 3% 52%
Total 81,146 82% 45%

Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 99,235 for this subject area.

Table C5. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Course Title for the Top 10 Most Enrolled in Life and Physical Sciences Courses
Life and Physical Sciences Course Titles # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Biology 20,227 26% 45%
Chemistry 13,432 17% 52%
Earth Science 7,977 10% 47%
Physical Science 6,786 9% 45%
Earth / Space Science 3,223 4% 58%
Environmental Science 3,209 4% 58%
Physics 2,771 4% 59%
Life and Physical Sciences – Other 2,633 3% 49%
Integrated Science 1,770 2% 52%
Science (grade 8) 1,695 2% 57%
Total 63,723 81% 49%

Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 78,841 for this subject area.

Table C6. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Course Title for the Top 10 Most Enrolled in Social Sciences and History Courses
Social Sciences and History Course Titles # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
U.S. History – Comprehensive 15,317 16% 48%
Economics 10,747 11% 57%
World History – Overview 9,973 10% 51%
World History and Geography 8,701 9% 50%
U.S. Government – Comprehensive 5,647 6% 55%
Civics 4,944 5% 49%
Psychology 4,257 4% 74%
Modern U.S. History 2,785 3% 51%
Modern World History 2,569 3% 43%
Social Studies (grade 6) 2,518 3% 67%
Total 67,458 71% 53%

Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 95,493 for this subject area.

Table C7. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate for AP Courses
AP Course Title # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
AP Art-History of Art 40 1% 75%
AP Biology 163 4% 77%
AP Calculus AB 219 6% 92%
AP Calculus BC 103 3% 94%
AP Chemistry 148 4% 92%
AP Comparative Government and Politics 5 0% NR
AP Computer Science A 233 6% 85%
AP Computer Science AB 28 1% 96%
AP Economics 20 1% NR
AP English Language and Composition 204 5% 80%
AP English Literature and Composition 182 5% 86%
AP Environmental Science 57 2% 86%
AP European History 11 0% NR
AP French Language and Culture 19 1% NR
AP Government 273 7% 96%
AP Human Geography 50 1% 92%
AP Latin (Virgil, Catullus and Horace) 2 0% NR
AP Macroeconomics 163 4% 87%
AP Microeconomics 128 3% 85%
AP Music Theory 1 0% NR
AP Physics B 134 4% 78%
AP Physics C 81 2% 90%
AP Psychology 619 17% 88%
AP Spanish Language and Culture 124 3% 67%
AP Statistics 216 6% 87%
AP Studio Art-Drawing Portfolio 2 0% NR
AP Studio Art-General Portfolio 6 0% NR
AP U.S. Government and Politics 92 2% 83%
AP U.S. History 292 8% 88%
AP World History 120 3% 87%
Total 3,735 100% 86%

Note: An additional 490 enrollments had a course type listed as Advanced Placement, but did not match an AP SCED Code. Similarly, there existed local course titles with AP in the title that did not have an AP SCED Code. Thus, it is very likely the data above underreports the number of students taking AP courses virtually. Pass Rates are not reported (NR) if there were less than 25 for that cell.

Table C8. 2017-18  Virtual Enrollments Percentage by Subject Area and Locale
Subject Area % City % Not Specified % Rural % Suburb % Town
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Architecture and Construction 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Business and Marketing 1% 0% 2% 2% 1%
Communication and Audio / Visual Technology 0% 0% 1% 1% 0%
Computer and Information Sciences 1% 2% 2% 2% 1%
Engineering and Technology 1% 2% 0% 0% 2%
English Language and Literature 19% 20% 18% 17% 21%
Fine and Performing Arts 8% 9% 4% 4% 5%
Foreign Language and Literature 5% 4% 8% 7% 5%
Health Care Sciences 0% 0% 1% 1% 1%
Hospitality and Tourism 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Human Services 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
Life and Physical Sciences 14% 12% 13% 14% 14%
Manufacturing 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Mathematics 18% 17% 17% 17% 16%
Military Science 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Miscellaneous 8% 7% 7% 11% 7%
Nonsubject Specific 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education 9% 11% 6% 6% 8%
Public, Protective, and Government Services 0% 0% 1% 0% 0%
Religious Education and Theology 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Social Sciences and History 15% 14% 19% 16% 17%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table C9. 2017-18 Virtual Enrollment Pass Rates by Subject Area and Locale
Subject Area City Pass Rate Not Specified Pass Rate Rural Pass Rate Suburb Pass Rate Town Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 67% 75% 75% 84% 81%
Architecture and Construction NR 45% 78% 94% 81%
Business and Marketing 68% 52% 75% 68% 66%
Communication and Audio / Visual Technology 43% 54% 68% 70% 58%
Computer and Information Sciences 55% 54% 64% 65% 66%
Engineering and Technology 56% 63% 76% 85% 65%
English Language and Literature 48% 37% 55% 55% 55%
Fine and Performing Arts 58% 56% 58% 61% 58%
Foreign Language and Literature 55% 35% 60% 59% 67%
Health Care Sciences 59% 30% 80% 58% 79%
Hospitality and Tourism 58% NR 72% 79% 62%
Human Services 68% NR 84% 70% 80%
Life and Physical Sciences 46% 32% 58% 57% 58%
Manufacturing NR NR 51% 44% 59%
Mathematics 47% 28% 51% 53% 52%
Military Science NR NR NR 77% NR
Miscellaneous 49% 47% 65% 73% 59%
Nonsubject Specific 69% NR 66% 82% 45%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education 64% 51% 61% 63% 68%
Public, Protective, and Government Services 64% NR 68% 72% 66%
Religious Education and Theology NR NR 83% 83% 98%
Social Sciences and History 48% 33% 63% 61% 59%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics NR NR 76% 72% NR
Total 51% 39% 59% 60% 59%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) is there were less than 25 virtual enrollments for that cell.

Table C10. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Subject Area and Student Sex
Subject Area # of Male Enrolls # of Female Enrolls % of Male Enrolls % of Female Enrolls Male Pass Rate Female Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources 404 761 0% 0% 65% 78%
Architecture and Construction 236 69 0% 0% 79% 83%
Business and Marketing 4,049 3,929 1% 1% 69% 69%
Communication and Audio / Visual Technology 1,307 1,684 0% 1% 60% 66%
Computer and Information Sciences 6,416 4,598 2% 2% 62% 62%
Engineering and Technology 3,149 2,549 1% 1% 64% 64%
English Language and Literature 55,051 53,647 19% 18% 50% 53%
Fine and Performing Arts 16,236 17,736 6% 6% 55% 61%
Foreign Language and Literature 16,641 19,279 6% 7% 53% 62%
Health Care Sciences 983 2,432 0% 1% 56% 73%
Hospitality and Tourism 287 418 0% 0% 69% 70%
Human Services 295 883 0% 0% 79% 77%
Life and Physical Sciences 39,916 38,925 14% 13% 50% 54%
Manufacturing 107 NR 0% 0% 57% NR
Mathematics 50,135 49,100 17% 17% 48% 49%
Military Science 31 NR 0% 0% 68% NR
Miscellaneous 24,241 24,397 8% 8% 61% 64%
Nonsubject Specific 447 403 0% 0% 67% 59%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education 21,080 22,385 7% 8% 60% 64%
Public, Protective, and Government Services 741 1,145 0% 0% 66% 70%
Religious Education and Theology 51 91 0% 0% 84% 86%
Social Sciences and History 46,241 49,252 16% 17% 53% 58%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics 102 40 0% 0% 75% 75%
Total 288,146 293,765 100% 100% 53% 57%

Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were less than 25 virtual enrollments for that cell.

Table C11. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Virtual Method
Virtual Method # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Blended Learning 38,777 7% 55%
Digital Learning 52,255 9% 55%
Online Course 485,614 83% 55%
Missing 5,265 1% 49%
Total 581,911 100% 55%

Appendix – D Student Tables

Note: Clicking on the orange hyperlinked table number will return to the section of the report that discusses the table.

Table D1. 2017-18 Number of Virtual Students with Percent Year over Year Change
Grade Level # of Students % of Students % Change from 16-17
K 896 1% +54%
1 941 1% +24%
2 1,124 1% +39%
3 1,148 1% +27%
4 1,254 1% +38%
5 1,412 1% +21%
6 2,350 2% +36%
7 3,418 3% +33%
8 4,610 4% +39%
9 16,056 14% +8%
10 20,446 18% +8%
11 23,259 21% +5%
12 36,899 33% +10%
Total 112,688 100% +11%
Table D2. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Student Sex
Student Sex # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Males 55,789 50% 288,146 50% 53%
Females 56,928 51% 293,765 50% 57%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100% 55%

Note: A few students had enrollments where their sex was listed as male on some, but female on others.

Table D3. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Race/Ethnicity
Race /Ethnicity # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
African American 18,605 17% 113,855 20% 45%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1,120 1% 5,254 1% 51%
Asian 2,182 2% 7,943 1% 69%
Hispanic or Latino 8,440 7% 46,041 8% 53%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 105 0% 489 0% 59%
Two or More Races 4,905 4% 31,893 5% 48%
Unknown 662 1% 2,683 0% 28%
White 76,669 68% 373,753 64% 59%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100% 55%
Table D4. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Poverty Status
Poverty Status # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Yes 64,315 57% 386,200 66% 49%
No 47,711 42% 191,803 33% 69%
Unknown 984 1% 3,908 1% 30%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100% 55%

Note: The total number of students exceeds the 112,688 number because a few students had enrollments across multiple schools where one school listed the student under a specific poverty status, but the other school left the status unknown. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D5. 2017-18 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners for Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses by Poverty Status
Poverty Status Virtual Pass Rate Non-Virtual Pass Rate Virtual Pass Rate – Non-Virtual Pass Rate
Yes 49% 70% -21%
No 69% 87% -18%
Unknown 30% 41% -11%
Total 55% 79% -24%
Table D6. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Learners and Virtual Enrollments in Poverty with Pass Rate by Virtual Type
Virtual Type % of Virtual Learners in Poverty % of Virtual Enrolls from Learners in Poverty Pass Rate for Virtual Learners in Poverty
Part-Time (MV) 27% 30% 68%
Part-Time (Non-MV) 58% 66% 50%
Full-Time 70% 71% 46%
Total 57% 66% 49%
Table D7. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Special Education Status
Special Education Status # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Yes 13,203 12% 76,575 13% 48%
No 98,823 88% 501,428 86% 56%
Unknown 984 1% 3,908 1% 30%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100% 55%

Note: The total number of students exceeds the 112,688 number because a few students had enrollments across multiple schools where one school listed the student under a specific seat time waiver status, but the other school left the status unknown. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D8. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Non-Virtual Performance (Minimum of 3 Non-Virtual Enrollments)
Non-Virtual Performance # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
Passed All NV Courses 34,854 49% 83,335 40% 86%
Did Not Pass 1 or 2 NV Courses 15,773 22% 49,495 24% 62%
Did Not Pass 3 or More NV Courses 20,521 29% 75,411 36% 39%
Total 71,148 100% 208,241 100% 63%
Table D9. 2017-18 Number of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Non-Virtual Performance (Minimum of 3 Non-Virtual Enrollments) or Part-Time Types
Non-Virtual Performance # of MV Enrolls MV Pass Rate # of Non-MV Enrolls Non-MV Pass Rate
Passed All NV Courses 15,801 89% 67,534 85%
Did Not Pass 1 or 2 NV Courses 4,249 73% 45,246 61%
Did Not Pass 3 or More NV Courses 3,475 49% 71,936 38%
Total 23,525 80% 184,716 61%
Table D10. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments by Virtual Course Performance
Virtual Course Performance # of Students % of Students # of  Enrolls % of Enrolls
Passed All 54,700 49% 177,988 31%
Passed Some, But Not All 31,526 28% 278,733 48%
Didn’t Pass Any 26,462 23% 125,190 22%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100%
Table D11. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Students Who Did Not Pass Any Virtual Courses by the Number of Virtual Courses They Took
# of Virtual Courses Not Passed # of Students % of Students
1 to 2 11,072 42%
3 to 4 3,551 13%
5 to 6 5,489 21%
7 to 8 2,335 9%
9 to 10 1,010 4%
11+ 3,005 11%
Total 26,462 100%
Table D12. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Virtual Usage
Virtual Usage # of Students % of Students # of Enrolls % of Enrolls Pass Rate
1 to 2 Virtual Courses 50,630 45% 71,239 12% 76%
3 to 4 Virtual Courses 15,941 14% 55,090 9% 63%
5 or More Virtual Courses 46,117 41% 455,582 78% 51%
Total 112,688 100% 581,911 100% 55%

Appendix – E Completion Status Tables

Table E1. 2017-18 Comparison of Virtual and State Pass Rates on 11th Grade State Assessment Measures
Assessment Measure Virtual Pass Rate State Pass Rate
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT) 49% 58%
Mathematics (SAT) 28% 37%
Science (M-STEP) NR NR
Social Studies (M-STEP) 42% 48%

Note: Statewide assessment data were available from the MI School Data Portal

Table E2. 2017-18 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners with Three or More Non-Virtual Enrollments by Non-Virtual Performance
Assessment Pass All NV Pass Rate Did Not Pass 1 or 2 NV Pass Rate Did Not Pass 3 or More NV Pass Rate
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT) 70% 43% 25%
Mathematics (SAT) 47% 23% 9%
Science (M-STEP) NR NR NR
Social Studies (M-STEP) 58% 38% 23%
Table E3. 2017-18 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners by Poverty Status
Assessment Virt. Learners in Poverty Virt. Learners Not in Poverty All Virtual Learners
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT) 32% 66% 49%
Mathematics (SAT) 13% 44% 28%
Science (M-STEP) NR NR NR
Social Studies (M-STEP) 27% 56% 42%
Table E4. 2017-18 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners by Virtual Type
Assessment Part-Time (MV) Part-Time (Non-MV) Full-Time All Virtual
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT) 78% 45% 36% 49%
Mathematics (SAT) 55% 25% 11% 28%
Science (M-STEP) NR NR NR NR
Social Studies (M-STEP) 65% 38% 30% 42%
Table E5. 2017-18 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners by Part-Time Type and Non-Virtual Performance
Assessment Pass All MV Pass All Non-MV Fail 1 or 2 MV Fail 1 or 2 Non-MV Fail 3+ MV Fail 3+ Non-MV
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT) 85% 65% 71% 38% 52% 23%
Mathematics (SAT) 63% 42% 44% 20% 29% 7%
Science (M-STEP) NR NR NR NR NR NR
Social Studies (M-STEP) 72% 53% 56% 34% 42% 21%

Appendix – F Completion Status Tables

Table F1. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status
Completion Status # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 5,392 1%
Completed / Failed 82,583 14%
Completed / Passed 321,270 55%
Incomplete 51,717 9%
Ongoing Enrolled 5,094 1%
Testing Out 105 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 66,286 11%
Withdrawn / Failing 16,520 3%
Withdrawn / Passing 32,944 6%
Total 581,911 100%
Table F2. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Entity Type
Completion Status ISD School % of Enrolls LEA School % of Enrolls LEA UEP % of Enrolls PSA School % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 0% 1% 3% 0%
Completed / Failed 3% 14% 1% 15%
Completed / Passed 54% 58% 65% 51%
Incomplete 5% 10% 1% 8%
Ongoing Enrolled 0% 1% 0% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 32% 11% 12% 11%
Withdrawn / Failing 0% 1% 0% 6%
Withdrawn / Passing 6% 3% 17% 9%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100%

Note: UEP = Unique Education Provider

Table F3. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Full-Time Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status
Completion Status # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 1,300 1%
Completed / Failed 33,928 14%
Completed / Passed 126,725 51%
Incomplete 26,553 11%
Ongoing Enrolled 545 0%
Testing Out 0 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 21,669 9%
Withdrawn / Failing 13,940 6%
Withdrawn / Passing 24,089 10%
Total 248,749 100%
Table F4. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Part-Time Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status
Completion Status # of Enrolls % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 4,092 1%
Completed / Failed 48,655 15%
Completed / Passed 194,545 58%
Incomplete 25,164 8%
Ongoing Enrolled 4,549 1%
Testing Out 105 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 44,617 13%
Withdrawn / Failing 2,580 1%
Withdrawn / Passing 8,855 3%
Total 333,162 100%
Table F5. 2017-18 Percentage of Part-Time Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Provider Type
Completion Status PT (MV) % of Enrolls PT (Non-MV) % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 0% 1%
Completed / Failed 11% 15%
Completed / Passed 79% 57%
Incomplete 2% 8%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 6% 14%
Withdrawn / Failing 0% 1%
Withdrawn / Passing 2% 3%
Total 100% 100%
Table F6. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and School Emphasis
Completion Status Alt Ed % of Enrolls Gen Ed % of Enrolls Rep Program % of Enrolls Special Ed % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 2% 0% 1% 0%
Completed / Failed 14% 14% 2% 3%
Completed / Passed 44% 63% 75% 36%
Incomplete 17% 3% 1% 3%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1% 0% 0%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 15% 8% 2% 58%
Withdrawn / Failing 2% 4% 2% 0%
Withdrawn / Passing 5% 6% 18% 0%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table F7. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Core Subject Area
Completion Status English % of Enrolls Math % of Enrolls Science % of Enrolls Social Sci % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 1% 1% 1% 1%
Completed / Failed 15% 17% 16% 14%
Completed / Passed 51% 48% 52% 56%
Incomplete 10% 12% 10% 9%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1% 1% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 12% 12% 12% 12%
Withdrawn / Failing 3% 3% 3% 3%
Withdrawn / Passing 7% 5% 5% 5%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table F8. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Student Sex
Completion Status Males % of Enrolls Females % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 1% 1%
Completed / Failed 15% 13%
Completed / Passed 53% 57%
Incomplete 9% 9%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 12% 11%
Withdrawn / Failing 3% 3%
Withdrawn / Passing 5% 6%
Total 100% 100%
Table F9. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Race / Ethnicity
Completion Status African American % of Enrolls American Indian or Alaska Native % of Enrolls Asian % of Enrolls Hispanic or Latino % of Enrolls Two or More Races % of Enrolls White % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 2% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1%
Completed / Failed 16% 15% 6% 15% 16% 14%
Completed / Passed 45% 51% 69% 53% 48% 59%
Incomplete 10% 11% 5% 10% 9% 8%
Ongoing Enrolled 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 17% 14% 8% 12% 13% 9%
Withdrawn / Failing 3% 2% 2% 3% 4% 3%
Withdrawn / Passing 6% 6% 9% 5% 8% 5%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Note: Only Race / Ethnicities with 1,000 or more students are reported in the table.

Table F10. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of  Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Poverty Status
Completion Status In Poverty % of Enrolls Not In Poverty % of Enrolls Unknown % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 1% 1% 1%
Completed / Failed 16% 11% 11%
Completed / Passed 49%
69% 30%
Incomplete 10% 6% 12%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1% 12%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 14% 7% 22%
Withdrawn / Failing 4% 1% 4%
Withdrawn / Passing 6% 5% 7%
Total 100% 100% 100%
Table F11. 2017-18 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Special Education Status
Completion Status In Special Ed % of Enrolls Not In Special Ed% of Enrolls Unknown % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 1% 1% 1%
Completed / Failed 18% 14% 11%
Completed / Passed 48%
56% 30%
Incomplete 8% 9% 12%
Ongoing Enrolled 1% 1% 12%
Testing Out 0% 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 14% 11% 22%
Withdrawn / Failing 4% 3% 4%
Withdrawn / Passing 6% 6% 7%
Total 100% 100% 100%
Table F12. 2017-18 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status for Students Who Did Not Pass Any of Their Virtual Courses
Completion Status At Least One % of Enrolls 11 or More % of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit  Issued) 3% 2%
Completed / Failed 23% 24%
Completed / Passed 0% 0%
Incomplete 17% 19%
Ongoing Enrolled 2% 1%
Testing Out 0% 0%
Withdrawn / Exited 31% 28%
Withdrawn / Failing 8% 7%
Withdrawn / Passing 15% 19%
Total 100% 100%

Keep up with the latest Michigan Virtual has to offer