Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2020-21

Published on March 31, 2022
Written By: 

Joseph R. FreidhoffMichigan Virtual

Based on pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to MDE or CEPI, this report highlights 2020-21 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 over 80 data tables.

Suggested Citation

Freidhoff, J. R. (2022). Michigan’s k-12 virtual learning effectiveness report 2020-21. Michigan Virtual. https://michiganvirtual.org/research/publications/michigans-k-12-virtual-learning-effectiveness-report-2020-21/

Executive Summary

Based on pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to the Michigan Department of Education and the Center for Educational Performance and Information, this report highlights 2020-21 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 over 80 data tables at the end of the report.

About 29% of all K-12 students in the state—over 418,500 students—took virtual courses in 2020-21. These students generated over 3.6 million virtual course enrollments (an increase of 442% from 2019-20) and were present in 79% of Michigan public school districts. Schools with part-time virtual learners were responsible for the majority of virtual enrollments. About 40% of virtual enrollments came from high school students, and the most highly enrolled in virtual courses were those required for high school graduation. Sixty-six percent of the virtual enrollments were from students who were in poverty. The overall pass rate for virtual courses (74%) was up 18 percentage points from the prior year.

Infographic summarizes the statistics in the immediately preceding paragraph.

 

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 ninth edition of this annual publication and completes 11 years of data on K-12 virtual learning in Michigan.

The report is organized into several sections. 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

  • 707 school districts reported at least one virtual enrollment. This represented 79% of Michigan school districts.
  • 2,207 schools reported at least one virtual enrollment, a year-over-year increase of 80%.
  • 49% of this year’s schools did not report a virtual enrollment the prior year. These schools added close to 2M enrollments with an 80% pass rate.
  • 91% of the prior year’s schools also reported virtual enrollments this year. They accounted for over 1.6M enrollments with a pass rate of 66%, 10 percentage points higher than their pass rate the prior year.
  • 81% of the 2,207 schools with virtual enrollments had 100 or more virtual enrollments.
  • 85% of schools with virtual enrollments had a general education school emphasis; 13% had an alternative education emphasis.
  • 87% of schools with virtual learning were LEA schools.
  • LEA schools accounted for 76% of the virtual enrollments; PSA schools generated 24% of the virtual enrollments.
  • 88% of virtual enrollments came from schools with part-time virtual learning options.
  • LEA schools had the most full-time virtual schools (81).
  • 99.6% of virtual enrollments came from schools with 100 or more virtual enrollments.
  • About 40% of virtual enrollments came from students in grades 9-12.
  • 35% of virtual enrollments came from suburban schools, the most of any locale.
  • Schools with a general education emphasis had a 76% virtual pass rate, outperforming those with an alternative education emphasis, which had a pass rate of 49%.
  • 20% of schools had a school-wide virtual pass rate of 90% to 100%, a decline of eight percentage points.

Number of Districts and Schools

For the 2020-21 school year, 707 districts reported having at least one virtual enrollment. This represented 79% of the 898 Michigan public school districts for the year. See the MI School Data Report for a breakdown of the district count.

Within those districts, 2,207 schools reported virtual enrollments, 982 more than the prior year. Of the 1,225 schools reporting virtual enrollments in 2019-2020 (the prior year), 110 of them (9%) did not report any virtual enrollments in 2020-2021 (this year). Those schools accounted for a total of 17,539 virtual enrollments in 2019-2020. There were also 1,092 schools that reported virtual enrollments in 2020-2021 but had not reported any the prior year. These schools added almost 2M virtual enrollments this year and had a virtual pass rate of 80%. That means 51% (1,115) of schools in this year’s dataset reported virtual enrollments in both 2019-20 and 2020-2021. These schools generated over 1.6M enrollments and had a pass rate of 66%, which was 10 percentage points higher than their rate in 2019-20. See Table B1. Over 1M of those enrollments came from 291 schools that reported 1,000 or more enrollments than they did in 2019-20. See Table B2. Taken together, the explosive enrollment growth observed was due to both the addition of new schools and the increased enrollments from pre-existing virtual programs. Through that growth, 45% of those schools had pass rates that were plus or minus 9 percentage points from the prior year. See Table B3.

By Grade Level

Across the 2,207 schools, 3,647,493 virtual enrollments were provided. Students in 12th grade enrolled in the most virtual courses (385,211), representing approximately 11% of all virtual enrollments. There was considerable growth in the percentage of elementary and middle school virtual enrollments. In the 2019-20 school year, 81% of the virtual enrollments came from students in high school; in 2020-21, only 40% of virtual enrollments did. This is the first time that students in elementary and middle school accounted for the majority of the virtual enrollments.

The overall pass rate for virtual enrollments was 74%, an increase of 18 percentage points over the prior year. See Table G1 for a more specific breakdown of all the completion statuses. This ranged from a high of 83% in elementary grades to a low of 60% in 9th grade. See Table B4 for more information. Unlike previous years, virtual learners passed their virtual courses at a higher rate (74%) than they passed their non-virtual courses (73%). See Table B5. As a point of comparison, the prior year the virtual pass rate was 12 percentage points lower than those students’ non-virtual pass rate.

By School-Level Virtual Pass Rate

Of the 2,207 schools with virtual enrollments, 432 or 20% had school-level virtual pass rates of 90% to 100%. This was eight percentage points lower than the prior year. Fifty percent of the schools (1,113) had virtual pass rates of 70% or higher. See Table B6. In 2019-20, 56% of schools achieved 70% or higher pass rates. Thus, even though the overall pass rate in the state rose considerably, a slightly smaller percentage of schools experienced high levels of student performance.

By Entity Type

LEA schools (76%) and PSA schools (24%) accounted for almost all the virtual enrollments. The prior year the proportion was closer to 60/40. Virtual enrollments came from 1,917 (87%) LEA schools while only 224 (10%) of the schools were PSAs. See Table B7. LEA schools had a lower pass rate (71%) than PSA schools (81%), a reversal from the prior year. See Table B8 or, for a more in-depth look at the completion statuses, see Table G2.

By Full-Time Virtual Schools

The number of full-time virtual schools (101) increased by 24 from the prior year. Eighty-one of the 101 full-time virtual schools (80%) were LEA schools. PSA schools (17) accounted for 17% of the full-time virtual schools. See Table B9. Despite the sizable difference in the number of schools, LEAs and PSAs each reported about half the full-time virtual students statewide. The pass rates were also remarkably similar with LEA schools having a 64% pass rate and PSA schools a rate of 65%. Those figures are 22 percentage points higher for LEA full-time virtual and seven percentage points higher for PSA cybers than the prior year. See Table B10 and Table G3. Overall, the number of virtual enrollments from full-time virtual schools grew from 306,495 in 2019-20 to 429,164 in 2020-21; however, as a percentage of all virtual enrollments, those coming from cyber or full-time virtual schools reflected just 12% of the 2020-21 total—34 percentage points lower than the prior year.

A quick note about full-time virtual schools: Historically, full-time virtual schools have only provided students with 100% of their learning online. Thus, it was safe to designate all enrollments from such a school as being part of a full-time virtual program. Over the last few years, however, LEAs have started to add full-time virtual options to their offerings. In some cases, this is as a separate school, which makes it analogous to the cyber schools. However, increasingly, it seems that schools are offering multiple forms of online learning from the same building code. This can be seen in the Education Entity Master where schools can report educational settings including “Full Virtual,” “Face Virtual,” and “Supplemental Virtual.” See page 16 of the Educational Entity Master Glossary for more information on these field values. This means that some schools report various forms of virtual (and sometimes non-virtual) learning from a single building code. Case in point, 18% of the enrollments from virtual learners in LEA full-time programs were not flagged as being delivered virtually, indicating what may be more of a hybrid approach.

By Part-Time Virtual Schools

About 95% of the schools offering virtual learning do so to supplement their face-to-face course offerings. These 2,106 schools, referred to in this report as part-time virtual schools, were predominantly LEA schools (87%). See Table B11. Eighty-two percent of the part-time virtual students were enrolled through LEA schools and 18% through PSA schools. LEA schools accounted for over 2.5M virtual enrollments or 79% of the part-time enrollments. In total, enrollments from part-time virtual schools accounted for 88% of all the virtual enrollments for the year. LEA schools had a pass rate of 72% whereas PSA schools had a pass rate of 87%. Overall, the pass rate for the part-time virtual schools (75%) was 10 percentage points higher than the rate for the full-time virtual schools (65%). See Table B12 and Table G4.

By School Emphasis

Eighty-five percent of schools with virtual learning were designated as General Education and produced close to 3.3M (90%) of the virtual enrollments. Schools with Alternative Education as their emphasis accounted for almost 360,000 (10%) of the virtual enrollments. See Table B13. There was a considerable difference in virtual pass rates between these two types of schools. General Education schools had a 76% virtual pass rate, whereas Alternative Education schools had a 49% virtual pass rate (see Table B14 and Table G5), though this varied by entity type. LEA schools, for instance, had a 73% virtual pass rate for General Education schools and a 52% virtual pass rate for Alternative Education schools. See Table B15.

By Number of Virtual Enrollments

Over 80 percent of schools with virtual enrollments had 100 or more virtual enrollments. These schools were responsible for 99.6% of the virtual enrollments (3,632,405). See Table B16.

Another trend that continued was that, in general, schools with fewer virtual enrollments per student performed better. Consider, for instance, that 29% 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 16% of schools with an average of five or more virtual courses per virtual learner had a 90% to 100% pass rate. See Table B17.

By Locale

Suburban schools represented 33% of schools with virtual enrollments. Rural settings provided the second most schools with 32%. Suburban schools also tallied the largest percentage of the virtual enrollments at 35%. City schools were close behind providing 32% of the enrollments. Both Suburban and City schools each generated over 1M enrollments. Rural schools exceeded 750,000 while Town schools had just over 413,000. See Table B18. In each of the four locales, schools with 100 or more virtual enrollments accounted for the largest percentage of schools. Similarly, schools with fewer than 25 virtual enrollments were the second most likely scenario. See Table B19. Virtual pass rates varied by locale with Suburban schools having the highest virtual pass rate at 78% and Town schools having the lowest at 64%. See Table B20. Both Suburban and City schools had over 40% of their schools achieve building-wide virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. See Table B21. For more information about locales, including definitions, please see page 25 of the Educational Entity Master Glossary.

By School Poverty Levels

The overall level of poverty for a school yielded insightful analyses. Schools were categorized into one of four categories based on the percentage of all learners at the school (not just virtual learners) that qualified for free or reduced-price meals:

  • Low Poverty (<=25%)
  • Mid-Low Poverty (>25% to <=50%)
  • Mid-High Poverty (>50% to <=75%)
  • High Poverty (>75%)

From this perspective, 59% of both Low Poverty and High Poverty schools reported virtual learners in 2020-21. Mid-Low Poverty (66%) and Mid-High Poverty (70%) had the highest percentage. See Table B22. As points of comparison, the prior year saw Low Poverty and Mid-High Poverty at 38%, Mid-Low Poverty at 39%, and High Poverty at 27%.

While High Poverty schools represented only 24% of schools with virtual programs (534), they accounted for 34% of the virtual enrollments. Mid-High Poverty schools accounted for 33% of the enrollments. Low Poverty schools, on the other hand, reported only 8% of the virtual enrollments. The virtual pass rate for Low Poverty schools was 85% compared to 69% for Mid-High Poverty schools and 72% for High Poverty schools. See Table B23.

Courses

Fast Facts

  • Over 3.6M virtual enrollments were taken by Michigan K-12 students; the overall pass rate for virtual enrollments was 74%.
  • Virtual enrollments were spread across 1,171 different course titles.
  • 63% 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 11, and English 12
    • Mathematics: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Mathematics (grade 7)
    • Life and Physical Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Science (grade 7), Science (grade 6)
    • Social Sciences and History: U.S. History—Comprehensive, World History and Geography, Social Studies (grade 6), and Social Studies (grade 7)

Number of Courses

The 3,647,493 virtual enrollments came from 1,171 different course titles, as determined by unique SCED codes.

Courses by Subject Area

English Language and Literature was the subject area with the highest number of virtual enrollments (664,265)—18% of all virtual enrollments. Mathematics, Social Sciences and History, Life and Physical Sciences, and Fine and Performing Arts were the other subject areas with 10% or more of the virtual enrollments. In high enrollment subject areas (greater than 100,000 virtual enrollments), virtual pass rates varied from a low of 68% in Foreign Language and Literature to a high of 80% for Fine and Performing Arts. See Table C1 and Table G6. Fifteen of the 23 subject areas (including all four core subjects) had virtual pass rates that were equal to or greater than the non-virtual pass rates for these students, a change from past trends. 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 (54%) and rose consistently for each subsequent grade level to finish at 70% for 12th grade English/Language Arts. Three course titles were at the 6-8 grade level and another three were K-5. See Table C3.

In Mathematics, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II had the most enrollments. Three course titles were at the 6-8 grade level and four were K-5. The pass rate across the top 10 most enrolled-in virtual mathematics courses ranged from a low of 53% for Algebra I to a high of 83% in both Mathematics (grade 4) and Mathematics (grade 2). See Table C4.

Biology was the only course titles responsible for more than 10% of the virtual enrollments in Life and Physical Sciences courses. Chemistry and Physical Science also made the top ten list. There are three titles at the 6-8 grade level and four at K-5. Physical Sciences had the lowest pass rate (56%) of those in the top 10; the highest was 83% in three of the elementary science courses. See Table C5.

For Social Sciences and History, only U.S. History–Comprehensive yielded more than 10% of the virtual enrollments. World History and Geography, as well as Economics were the other high school courses in the top ten. There were three titles for 6-8 and four for K-5. Pass rates for the top 10 most enrolled in courses ranged from a low of 59% in World History and Geography to a high of 83% in several elementary social studies courses. See Table C6.

Thirty-four AP courses were taken virtually in 2020-21. AP English Language and Composition was the most popular course accounting for 14% of the 26,888 AP enrollments. The pass rate for AP courses taken virtually was 87%. See Table C7. The pass rate for non-virtual AP courses taken by virtual learners was 92%.

Subject Area Enrollments by Locale

Course enrollment patterns were quite consistent across locales. Each locale (Rural, Town, Suburb, City, and Not Specified) reported 14% of their enrollments in Life and Physical Sciences. In English Language and Literature, along with Mathematics, the difference across the locales was within two percentage points. See Table C8. Pass rates in virtual courses did vary across subject areas and locale. For instance, in English Language and Literature, the Town pass rate was 63% while the pass rate from Suburban schools was 76%. This trend of Suburban schools having the highest pass rate and Town schools having the lowest continued with the core subjects of Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences and History. See Table C9.

Subject Area Enrollments by Student Sex

Males and females enrolled in subject areas in similar proportions. In the four highest enrollment subject areas (English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences and History), 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 22 of the 23 subject areas (Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics being the lone exception), females outperformed males—a trend that has been consistent with past years. Females had a 75% pass rate whereas males had a 72% pass rate. 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 pages 350 and 351 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 4.0.

  • 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 19% of the virtual enrollments and had a pass rate of 85%. Digital Learning totaled 7% of the enrollments with a 64% pass rate. Online courses represented most of the enrollments (74%) and yielded a pass rate of 72%. See Table C11.

Students

Fast Facts

  • 418,513 K-12 students took at least one virtual course which represented 29% of Michigan public school students.
  • Elementary and middle school students each tended to reflect about 6% to 7% of students; high school students reflected 10% to 13%.
  • 55% of virtual learners passed all their virtual courses. Eleven percent of virtual learners did not pass any of their virtual courses.
  • Of the 67,014 students who did not pass any of their virtual courses, 25% took only one or two courses. Almost 41,000 students took and did not pass five or more virtual courses with 9,412 students taking and not passing 11 or more virtual courses.
  • Female students had a higher pass rate (75%) than did males (72%).
  • Students in poverty made up the majority of virtual learners (64%) and virtual enrollments (66%). Students in poverty also had a lower pass rate (69% v. 82%).
  • Part-time virtual learners had higher pass rates (75%) compared to full-time virtual learners (65%).
  • Students using special education services made up 13% of the virtual learners.
  • Pass rates were highest for students taking the most virtual courses. Students taking five or more virtual courses had a 74% pass rate compared to 68% for those taking three or four and 72% for those taking one to two.
  • White students represented 55% of virtual students; African Americans were 28%. This means that White students were underrepresented, and African American students were overrepresented compared to their percentages in the statewide student population.
  • Over 3.3M virtual enrollments were from students whose district was stable (all enrollments from the same district) throughout the year. These enrollments had a virtual pass rate of 77%.

By Grade Level

For the 2020-21 school year, 418,513 Michigan K-12 students, approximately 29% of students in the state, took at least one virtual course. This was a 243% increase in the number of virtual learners compared to what was reported for 2019-20. Unlike prior years, the percentage of learners at each grade level was much more evenly distributed. Each of the elementary and middle school grade levels tended to be around 6% to 7% of the enrollments with each of the high school grade levels between 10% to 13%. See Table D1.

By Student Sex

There were slightly more males (210,161) enrolled in virtual courses than females (208,391), though from a percentage perspective, each represented about half of the population. Females had a 3% higher pass rate (75% compared to males at 72%), continuing the trend seen in past years of females outperforming their male counterparts on this measure. See Table D2 and Table G7.

By Race/Ethnicity

White students made up 55% of virtual students with African American students totaling the second highest percentage with 28%. Asian students had the only pass rate (91%) above 90%. See Table D3 and Table G8. This means that White students were underrepresented (compared to 64.97% of students in the state for the year), and African American students were overrepresented (as they reflected 17.72% of the student population). See Student Enrollment Count Report. All Race/Ethnicity groups reported considerably higher virtual pass rates this year compared to the prior year.

By Poverty Status

Sixty-four percent of virtual learners were classified as living in poverty. This is about five percentage points higher than the prior year and 13 percentage points higher than the percentage of K-12 students statewide who were economically disadvantaged. See Student Enrollment Count Report. Students living in poverty took 66% of the virtual enrollments for the year. The pass rate for students in poverty (69%) was 13 percentage points lower than students who were not in poverty (82%). See Table D4 and Table G9. In 2019-20, the performance gap was 18 percentage points.

A sizable change from the prior year, where that virtual pass rate for students in poverty was 20 percentage points lower than their non-virtual pass rate, is that students in poverty were reported to have a higher pass rate in their virtual courses (69%) than they did in their non-virtual courses (66%). Students not in poverty did slightly better in their non-virtual courses (two percentage points this year compared to 19 percentage points the prior year). See Table D5.

About two-thirds of virtual learners were in poverty in both Full-Time and Part-Time Virtual schools. The pass rate for full-time virtual learners in poverty was 58% compared to 71% for part-time virtual learners. See Table D6. In 2019-20, the virtual pass rate was slightly higher (two percentage points) for the part-time students.

About 15% of all Michigan K-12 students who attended Low Poverty schools were virtual learners. Twenty-six percent of the state’s students in Mid-Low Poverty, and 24% of those in High Poverty schools were virtual learners. Thirty-five percent of students in Mid-High Poverty schools took virtual courses in the 2020-2021 school year. See Table D7.

By Special Education Status

Students using special education services made up 13% of the virtual learners and 14% of the virtual enrollments. These percentages were somewhat similar to the statewide percentage of students using special education services (13.47%) for the 2020-21 school year. See the Student Enrollment Counts Report. Students using special education services had a virtual pass rate of 69% compared to 74% for those who did not. See Table D8 and Table G10.

By Full-Time or Part-Time

Eleven percent of students (46,093) were enrolled in cyber or full-time virtual schools. Students in these schools accounted for 429,164 or 12% of the virtual enrollments for the year. The pass rate for full-time virtual students was 65%. Nine out of 10 virtual learning students were part-time virtual learners, taking some courses virtually to supplement their face-to-face schedule. This subset made up 88% of the virtual enrollments and had a pass rate of 75%. See Table D9. The 75% virtual pass rate was two percentage points higher than the non-virtual pass rate for these students. See Table D10.

Another way to conceptualize full/part time status is to look at the percentage of a student’s enrollments that were delivered virtually. There were large numbers of students (266,808) that had 75% or more of their enrollments reported as being delivered virtually. That student count is close to six times the number of students who attended cyber or full-time schools. Examination of pass rates showed students who had fewer than 25% of their enrollments delivered virtually and those who had 75% or more of their enrollments delivered virtually, outperformed the students in the middle two quartile groupings. See Table D11. Table D12 and Table D13 show how the percentage of students, enrollments, and pass rates changed for LEA schools and PSA Schools, respectively.

By Mobility Status

For the first time in this report series, mobility data were included as part of the data set. The mobility variable included the following statuses: stable, incoming, or outgoing. Some of the enrollments did not include information on this variable and were listed in the data tables as “missing”. More information about this variable is available on the MI School Data Student Mobility page.

When it came to district stability, over 3.3M (93%) of the virtual enrollments were classified as stable. The pass rate for stable enrollments was 77%. Incoming enrollments to a district represented 2% of the virtual enrollments and had a pass rate of 63%. See Table D14.

When looking at mobility from a poverty perspective, we get a more nuanced perspective. Ninety-two percent of virtual enrollments from students in poverty were stable compared to 95% for students who were not in poverty. The pass rate for stable, in poverty enrolls was 73% but rose to 84% for stable, not in poverty enrollments. For incoming virtual enrollments, there was a seven percentage point advantage for students who were not in poverty (69% v. 62%). See Table D15.

Looking at mobility from a locale perspective showed fairly consistent enrollment percentages across geographies. Town schools had the lowest percentage of stable enrollments (91%). Rural schools were next at 92%. Suburban schools reported 93% of their enrollments classified as stable. City schools reported the highest percentage of stable virtual enrollments with 94%. See Table D16. Virtual pass rates showed wider discrepancies. Stable enrollments from Town schools had a 68% pass rate whereas the pass rate was 80% for Suburban schools. The incoming pass rates tended to lag the stable pass rates by double digits regardless of the locale. See Table D17.

A final mobility dimension explored this year was how enrollment and performance varied across full-time and part-time virtual schools. Full-time virtual or cyber schools had a lower percentage of their virtual enrollments designated as stable (86% v. 94%). The full-time pass rate for stable enrollments also lagged that of students from part-time virtual programs (69% v. 78%). See Table D18.

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, 36% of virtual learners had at least three or more non-virtual enrollments. Of that group, 50% of students passed all their non-virtual courses, 15% did not pass one or two, and 34% did not pass three or more. There were clear differences in virtual pass rates between the three categories. Students passing all their non-virtual courses had a 67% virtual pass rate. Students who did not pass one or two non-virtual courses had a virtual pass rate of 54%, and those with the lowest non-virtual success had a virtual pass rate of only 46%. See Table D19.

By Virtual Course Performance

Fifty-five percent of virtual learners passed every virtual enrollment they took. This was eight percentage points higher than the prior year. Sixteen percent did not pass any of their virtual enrollments, and 29% passed some, but not all their virtual enrollments. Students who passed all their virtual courses were responsible for 52% of the virtual enrollments. Students with mixed success generated 37% of the enrollments, and students who did not pass any of their virtual courses contributed 11% of the virtual enrollments (compared to 19% in 2019-20). See Table D20.

For the students who did not pass any of their virtual courses, 25% only took one or two virtual courses. On the other hand, 40,968 students did not pass five or more virtual courses, and 9,412 students did not pass 11 or more virtual courses. See Table D21 and Table G11. Further analysis of students failing all their 11 or more virtual courses showed 92% of these students had a single school report data for them. Over 80% of these students came from part-time virtual programs. Over 1,500 students were using special education services (17%) and 7,499 of these students (80%) were in poverty.

What Table G11 makes clear is that for students who do not pass any of their virtual enrollments, “withdrawns” were rampant. For the virtual enrollments from students who did not pass any of their virtual enrollments, 62% had a “Withdrawn” status (exited, failing, or passing) and another 7% were classified as “Incomplete.” For those taking 11 or more virtual courses, 49% had a “Withdrawn” status and 9% were marked “Incomplete.” In each case, only 29% and 41% of the virtual enrollments, respectively, 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

Unlike prior years, virtual learners had the highest pass rates when they took five or more virtual courses. Students taking one to two virtual courses had a pass rate of 72% compared to a pass rate of 68% for those taking three to four virtual courses and a pass rate of 74% for students taking five or more virtual courses. About 16% of students fell under the description of taking one or two virtual courses; however, 75% were found to have taken five or more virtual courses during the year. See Table D22.

State Assessment

Fast Facts

  • 49% of 11th grade virtual learners who took the SAT scored proficient in the Reading/Writing component. 26% tested proficient in Math.
  • Higher proficiency rates on state assessments were seen with higher non-virtual performance and with students who were not in poverty.
  • A higher percentage of part-time virtual learners reached levels of proficiency on state assessment measures than their full-time counterparts.

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), Science (M-STEP) and Social Studies (M-STEP) examinations than the statewide proficiency rates. Forty-nine percent of the 11th grade virtual learners tested proficient in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and about a quarter were proficient in Mathematics. For Science, only 13% tested proficient whereas Social Studies had 38% of the virtual learners reach proficiency. See Table E1.

By Non-Virtual Performance

As expected, the percentage of virtual learners testing proficient on these state tests varied considerably when accounting for 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 assessment. 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 considerably lower than their peers who were not in poverty. As examples, 34% of virtual learners in poverty scored proficient on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam compared to 62% for those who were not in poverty. For Mathematics, only 13% of virtual learners in poverty scored proficient compared to 37% for those not in poverty. See Table E3.

By Full- or Part-Time Type

Students taking virtual courses in a part-time capacity had higher rates of proficiency on the assessments compared to full-time virtual learners. For some assessments, the gap was sizable; 10 percentage points for Mathematics and nine points for Evidence-Based Reading & Writing. See Table E4.

Maps

Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona, Branch, Calhoun, and St. Clair County ISDs/RESAs had at least 50% of students in their service areas take a virtual course in 2020-21. In total, there were 31 ISDs/RESA with 25% or more of the students taking virtual courses. See Figure 2.

Figure 2. 2020-21 Percentage of Students Who Took a Virtual Course (Non-Cyber) by ISD

Map shows Michigan ISDs colored by the percentage of students who took at least one virtual course. All but three ISDs have some color of blue meaning they have at least 10% or more of their students taking a virtual course (non-cyber) in 2020-21. In contrast, 31 ISDs had 25% or more of its students with virtual enrollments; see the preceding paragraph for more detail.

One in five students attending a PSA cyber school resided within the Wayne RESA service area. The Genesee, Ingham, Macomb, and Oakland ISD service areas were the only other ISDs with 1,000 or more of their resident students attending PSA cyber schools. Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa Area, and St. Clair County ISDs/RESAs each had between 500 and less than 1,000 students from their area attending PSA cyber schools. See Figure 3.

Figure 3. 2020-21 Count of PSA Cyber School Students by Resident ISD

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 2020-21. Counties with the highest percentage include Genesee, Ingham, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

Reflections on Higher Performing Schools

As the above sections of the report make clear, virtual learning performance, in general, was quite mixed. The analyses in this section will focus exclusively on those schools that achieved pass rates of 80% or higher to glean a clearer picture of what virtual learning looked like for these schools and programs and how it might have differed, if at all, from the state statistics.

There were 792 Michigan schools with virtual pass rates of 80% or higher, reflecting 36% of all schools in the state with virtual learners. These schools reported 179,766 virtual learners or about 43% of the state’s virtual learners. When zooming in on these higher performing schools, the data show:

  • Successful virtual programs can support various numbers of students, enrollments, and courses offerings – These schools showed success with 10 or fewer students (12%) and 100 or more students (54%). See Table F1. Some offered few enrollments (64 schools had one to nine virtual enrollments) while others offered many (over 600 schools had 100 or more). See Table F2. They also varied in the numbers of course titles offered. About a quarter of schools offered 10 or fewer virtual courses titles. Close to another quarter had between 26 and 50 courses, and a third of the schools had students in more than 50 different virtual courses. See Table F3.
  • LEA and PSA schools can offer successful virtual programs – Thirty-three percent of LEA schools with virtual programs had schoolwide virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. For PSA schools, it was 52%. See Table F4. Both traditional school districts and charter districts can run successful virtual programs.
  • Schools in cities, suburbs, towns, and rural settings are proving virtual learning success – All locales had schools with virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. City and Suburban schools had over 40% of their schools reach this threshold whereas Rural and Town school were about half that. See Table F5. These schools are proving virtual learning can succeed across the various geographies of the state, but that it appeared to be a bigger challenge in the Rural and Town settings.
  • These schools show strong results across students of different race/ethnicities – These higher performing schools also showed promise for equitable outcomes for students of different races and ethnicities. The pass rates for African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino, and White students were all 90%. Asian students had the highest pass rate at 96%. See Table F6. For these schools, virtual programs appear to be approaching more equitable outcomes.
  • Students in poverty are succeeding in these virtual programs – Recall that across the entire state, students in poverty had a pass rate (69%) that was 13 percentage points lower than those virtual students who were not in poverty. In these 792 schools, the virtual pass rate for students in poverty rose to 89%—much closer to the 93% virtual pass rate for the students in those schools who were not in poverty. Students in poverty continued to represent a large percentage of virtual learners (61%) and virtual enrollments (63%) in these schools, but a bit smaller than the 64% of virtual learners and 66% of virtual enrollments seen across all virtual programs across the state. See Table F7. Additionally, virtual program success varied by a school’s overall poverty level. Fifty-six percent of Low Poverty schools with virtual learners achieved virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. It was 39% of the Mid-Low Poverty schools, 25% of Mid-High Poverty schools, and 38% of High Poverty schools. See Table F8. While these 201 High Poverty schools showed it is possible, it was considerably rarer than it was for Low Poverty schools.
  • Both full- and part-time programs can run effective virtual programs, but success is rarer for full-time programs – Thirty-seven percent of part-time programs were able to yield schoolwide virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. It was considerably more difficult for full-time programs to achieve similar success. Only 15 of the 101 full-time programs (15%) reached the 80% pass rate mark. See Table F9.
  • Both general education and alternative education programs reached 80% school-wide virtual pass rates – There were 732 general education schools in Michigan that achieved schoolwide virtual pass rates of 80% or higher. These 732 schools represented 39% of general education schools with virtual programs. For alternative programs, 36 schools reached this mark. As a percentage of alternative programs, it represented just 13% of such schools, indicating that while possible, this threshold of success remains a sizable challenge. See Table F10.
  • Virtual students can perform at or above their face-to-face performance level – In these 792 schools, there were 24,335 virtual learners who took a minimum of three virtual courses and had data for a minimum of three non-virtual courses. Seventy-seven percent of these students had virtual pass rates that met or exceeded their non-virtual pass rates. See Table F11.

Conclusion

This year’s report represents the 11th year of data on the effectiveness of virtual learning in Michigan’s K-12 system. Many trends witnessed in past years continue to exist. As Table 1 makes clear, there was huge growth this school year compared to past years, evidence of the role virtual learning played during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Table 1. Summary of Virtual Learning Metrics by School Year Since 2010-11

School Year# of Virtual Learners# of Virtual Enrollments# of SchoolsVirtual Pass Rate
2010-1136,34889,92165466%
2011-1252,219153,58385062%
2012-1355,271185,05390660%
2013-1476,122319,6301,00757%
2014-1591,261445,9321,07260%
2015-1690,878453,5701,02658%
2016-17101,359517,4701,10255%
2017-18112,688581,9111,15855%
2018-19120,669639,1301,22555%
2019-20121,900672,6821,22556%
2020-21418,5133,647,4932,20774%

The large increase in learners, enrollments, and schools was likely anticipated by many given the COVID-19 precautions in place throughout the state. But what about the 18 percentage point increase in the virtual pass rate. How should we interpret that gain? It seems likely that key factors specific to COVID precautions could be responsible and that these factors may not be likely to continue long term. Consider the following four observations. First, 49% of the schools in the 2020-21 school year did not have any virtual learners the prior year. These new schools reflected over 1.9M enrollments or 55% of all virtual enrollments, and they showed a markedly higher pass rate at 80% compared to schools who were in the previous year’s dataset which did see increased performance, but still had an overall virtual pass rate of 66%. Thus, new schools propped up the virtual pass rate. It remains to be seen how many of these schools will revert back to entirely in-person options in the coming years. Second, the percentage of virtual enrollments from alternative education schools dropped substantially from 2019-20 to 2020-21. In the 2019-20 school year, 47% of the virtual enrollments were from students in alternative education schools. In 2020-21, alternative education enrollments dropped to just 10% of the enrollments. This is particularly important because the pass rate gaps between these two groups are sizable. In both years, alternative education students had virtual pass rates in the 40s, whereas the virtual pass rate for general education students bumped up from 68% in 2019-20 to 76% in 2020-21. Third, there was also a huge shift in the grade levels of virtual learners. Consider that in 2019-20, 81% of the enrollments were from students in grades 9-12. That number was cut in half for 2020-21, with the K-5 population increasing from 8% in 2019-20 to 38% for 2020-21. At the same time, the trend that we have seen is that students in lower grades tend to perform better than students in higher grades. In 2020-21, for instance, students in grades K-5 had an 83% pass rate compared to 63% for high school students. We suspect that the emergency closures were the driving force behind this shift, and the drastic rise in the proportion of elementary enrollments will be temporary. A final factor that we think likely contributed to the increased pass rate is that schools were simply more lenient with grading policies and workload expectations than before the pandemic. The movement to virtual environments was enormously disruptive to many schools, teachers, students, and families. During this stressful period, many schools emphasized “giving grace,” which in some cases may have included lightening student workload expectations or even being more lenient with grading policies and practices. The factors, and others, may help explain what could appear to be contradictions between the findings in this report and other pandemic-focused virtual learning research which has noted learning loss related to remote learning.

We share the perspective that the shift to emergency remote learning, much of which leveraged some version of virtual learning, left many students and communities with substandard learning options. Even if the leniency hypothesis has some truth to it, 16% of virtual learners didn’t pass a single virtual course, and a little more than a quarter of schools had school-wide virtual pass rates of less than 50%, though these schools accounted for only 13% of state’s virtual enrollments. What is clear is that the transition to virtual was highly uneven across the state, with some schools and communities more ready and capable of handling the shift. Even within the same school or community, families have reported highly variable experiences.

On the positive side, the report also captures examples of schools and students benefiting from virtual learning. Over 40% of virtual learners were attending schools that had virtual pass rates of 80% or higher, and equity of outcomes was much closer to reality. Clearly, these schools add to the evidence that online learning can and does work for many schools and students. To date, however, these schools reflect the exception—the hope—rather than the rule. As school, community, and legislative leaders evaluate their virtual learning programs, the data provided in this report can serve as informative benchmarks, and the varied analyses can be used as models to understand local implementation success at a deeper level.

School leaders looking to take the next step forward with their virtual programs may find value in the many free resources that Michigan Virtual has authored. These resources include a series of practical guides to online learning designed for students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual also provides quality reviews of supplemental online learning programs to Michigan schools at no cost. There are also the National Standards for Quality Online Learning, which offer frameworks to evaluate online programs, online teaching, and online courses. Finally, educational leaders looking to communicate and collaborate with others around the future of learning may find value in the Future of Learning Council.

Appendix A – Methodology

COVID-19 Impact

Readers should note that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted school throughout the 2020-21 school year. Some school districts moved all or some of their learning to virtual options. Thus, caution is advised when comparing this year’s findings with prior years.

About the Data

The data for this report came from the following sources:

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.

Enrollments classified as virtual in this report were treated as such due to the TSDL virtual method field indicating virtual delivery. Enrollments where the TSDL virtual method field was set to “Blended Learning,” “Digital Learning,” or “Online Course” were treated as virtual. According to the Michigan Student Data Collection Manual Version 4.0, the virtual method field indicates “the type of virtual instruction the student is receiving.” (See page 350).

In prior years of the report, additional strategies, such as keyword searches of the local course title field, were used to flag virtual enrollments. Past years demonstrate that such efforts yield a low percentage of the virtual enrollments, and therefore were discontinued with this school year.

Michigan Virtual Students

Because this report is published by Michigan Virtual, some people have falsely concluded that the data in this report is about Michigan Virtual students only. Quite the contrary, the data in this report represent K-12 virtual learning across all providers, and Michigan Virtual as a provider would reflect only a small percentage of the virtual enrollments covered in this report. Readers interested in Michigan Virtual specific results can find those published in its Annual Report: 2020-21, which include data on the number of students, districts, and enrollments served as well as its virtual pass rate.

Enrollment Calculations

Enrollment data for this report principally relies on data collected in the MSDS Student Course Component. See page 328 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 4.0 for more details about this collection. Through this collection, the State collects data for each course a student takes. It is important to note some key variations in the data collection that impact possible approaches to calculating enrollment counts.

An example of known variation is the local naming conventions for course titles. For instance, one school may call a course “English 9”, another “9th Grade English,” and yet another “ELA 9.” The Student Course Component resolves this issue by requiring schools to report each enrollment with a Subject Area Code and a Course Identifier Code (SCED Course Code). These codes are created by the National Center for Education Statistics through the School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) initiative. By using these standardized codes, we can compare data more readily across schools.

Another important variation involves course sections. In addition to the course title and SCED Course Code, schools frequently parse a course title into multiple sections. For example, a school with trimester courses may break a course into three sections, one for each trimester. A semester-based school, on the other hand, may break up a course into two sections. Others have chosen to break their courses into even smaller units such as quarters while others report what seem to be course units or lessons. Sometimes, schools use course sections to differentiate the online and face-to-face components of courses. For our purposes, the key point is that there is not always one enrollment record per student per course title.

Multiple course sections for a single course title are not, in and of themselves, problematic. They could be resolved if a weighting variable—for instance, the fraction of a Carnegie unit each section represents—was collected. The State does collect a field, Credits Granted, in the Student Course Component that might be used. However, two main drawbacks significantly impair its use. The first is that the field is only required for Migrant-eligible and dual-enrolled students. As such, many enrollments do not have a reported value. The second hindrance is inconsistent reporting of data that do exist. In some cases, schools report the Carnegie unit that was possible to be earned (same value no matter the completion status of the enrollment), although others treat the field value as variable depending on how well the student did (e.g., report a 0.5 for a student with a “Completed/Passed” completion status, but a 0.0 for a student who had a “Completed/Failed” completion status). These drawbacks make the Credits Granted field unusable as a weighting variable.

The challenge of variable course sections reported is multiplied when more than one school entity reports on the same pupil. The data appear to contain instances of two or more schools reporting on the same enrollments. Flavors of this appear to be a school partnering with an ISD to provide special education services and both reporting the same enrollments. Another example appears to occur when a student transfers from one district and then enrolls in the same courses at the new school. Table A1 and Table A2 highlight enrollment variation.

Table A1. 2020-21 Virtual Enrollment Counts and Pass Rates by Number of Virtual Enrollments Per Student/SCED Code Pair

# of Virtual Enrolls per Student/SCED Code Pair# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
11,550,45943%72%
21,374,81838%73%
3377,63110%76%
4228,1166%80%
537,2601%65%
6 or More79,2092%77%
Total3,647,493100%74%

Table A2. 2020-21 Percentage of Students by Total Student Enrollment Counts (Virtual and Non-Virtual) and Full- or Part-Time Schools

Enrollment Count (Virtual and Non-Virtual) Full-TimePart-Time
1 to 510%9%
6 to 1026%29%
11 to 1549%38%
16 to 2010%15%
21+5%9%
Total100%100%

Given these data limitations, the enrollment counts and related data figures in this report should be treated as estimates that, generally speaking, convey the trends observed for the school year.

Pass Rate Calculations

For this report, the pass rate was calculated based on data reported in the “Completion Status” field. For more information about the Completion Status field, including definitions for each status, see page 345 of the Michigan Student Data System Collection Details Manual Version 4.0. Column one of Table A3 displays the various statuses reported by schools for the virtual enrollments.

Table A3. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status

Completion Status# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Audited (No Credit Issued)14,8150%
Completed/Failed409,93111%
Completed/Passed2,684,02174%
Incomplete79,3182%
Ongoing Enrolled2930%
Testing Out1630%
Withdrawn/Exited305,4628%
Withdrawn/Failing13,8790%
Withdrawn/Passing139,6114%
Total3,647,493100%

Throughout this report, the pass rate 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 A3 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, but act as such in the formula since they are added to the formula’s denominator without impacting the numerator. Another example is enrollments with a completion status of “Incomplete.” About 2% 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, 4% of the virtual enrollments in 2020-21 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” (8% of the virtual enrollments)? Based on the data available, 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 re-enrolled in a different course or whether it was too late for re-enrollment 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 a better idea of the impact of this approach, additional data tables are provided in Appendix G to allow interested readers in drawing their own conclusions and calculating their own formulas for many of the pass rates reported.

Appendix B – School Tables

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

Table B1. Two Year Comparison (2019-20 and 2020-21) of Virtual Enrollment Data

School Years# of Schools% of 2020-21 Schools# of 2020-21 Enrolls% of 2020-21 Enrolls2020-21 Pass Rate
2019-20 Only110NA17,539NANA
2020-21 Only1,09249%1,990,30155%80%
Both Years (2019-20 and 2020-21)1,11551%1,657,19245%66%
Note: The 110 schools in the “2019-20 Only” row had 17,539 enrollments and a 51% pass rate for that year. The 1,115 schools in both years had a pass rate of 56% for 2019-20.

Table B2. Virtual Enrollment Differences for Schools Reporting Virtual Learners in Both 2019-20 and 2020-21

Year-to-Year Enroll Difference
(2020-21 minus 2019-20)
# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
+1,000 or More29126%1,086,24066%
+500 to +99913612%170,93310%
+100 to +49920018%156,3309%
0 to +9919417%42,3923%
-1 to -9916515%37,5102%
-100 to -4991009%58,8944%
-500 to -999121%12,2921%
-1,000 or More172%92,6016%
Total1,115100%1,657,192100%

Table B3. Virtual Pass Rate Differences for Schools Reporting Virtual Learners in Both 2019-20 and 2020-21

Year-to-Year Pass Rate Difference
(2020-21 minus 2019-20)
# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
50 or More Percentage Points Increase182%43,7493%
25 to 49 Percentage Points Increase393%144,4939%
10 to 24 Percentage Points Increase1059%143,3289%
0 to 9 Percentage Points Increase18817%397,05424%
1 to 9 Percentage Points Decrease22420%355,18221%
10 to 24 Percentage Points Decrease21719%283,10517%
25 to 49 Percentage Points Decrease12011%123,4307%
50 or More Percentage Points Decrease353%27,2252%
NA – < 10 Enrolls in One or Both Years16915%139,6268%
Total1,115100%1,657,192100%

Table B4. 2020-21 Count and Pass Rate of K-12 Virtual Enrollments by Grade Level

Grade Level# of Enrolls% of Enrolls% ChangePass Rate% Change from 19-20
K224,1656%2601%83%23%
1223,4556%2377%83%19%
2229,1166%2219%83%20%
3227,6896%2352%83%23%
4236,0936%2488%83%19%
5236,4356%2150%83%19%
6262,0447%1394%79%17%
7274,4648%1063%75%14%
8289,2118%802%74%14%
9345,0479%245%60%17%
10366,53110%192%62%13%
11348,03210%174%64%8%
12385,21111%102%67%4%
Total3,647,493100%442%74%18%

Table B5. 2020-21 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners in Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses

Grade LevelVirtual Pass RateNon-Virtual Pass Rate
K83%74%
183%76%
283%74%
383%76%
483%74%
583%72%
679%70%
775%72%
874%72%
960%66%
1062%69%
1164%75%
1267%80%
Total74%73%

Table B6. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by School Pass Rate

School Pass Rate# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
0% to <10%934%29,9091%
10% to <20%532%50,5681%
20% to <30%914%68,1362%
30% to <40%1386%116,3863%
40% to <50%2039%216,3986%
50% to <60%23811%351,22010%
60% to <70%27813%446,10612%
70% to <80%31414%652,61018%
80% to <90%36717%833,56923%
90% to 100%43220%882,59124%
Total2,207100%3,647,493100%

Table B7. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by Entity Type

Entity Type# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
ISD School472%11,4190%
ISD Unique Education Provider30%1790%
LEA School1,91787%2,754,37676%
LEA Unique Education Provider161%8,3990%
PSA School22410%873,12024%
Total2,207100%3,647,493100%

Table B8. 2020-21 Virtual Pass Rate by Entity Type

Entity TypePass Count# of EnrollsPass Rate
ISD School7,61711,41967%
ISD Unique Education ProviderNRNRNR
LEA School1,960,9602,754,37671%
LEA Unique Education ProviderNRNRNR
PSA School708,752873,12081%
Total2,684,0213,647,49374%

Table B9. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Full-Time (FT) Virtual or Cyber School

Entity Type# of FT Schools% of FT Schools
ISD School11%
LEA School8180%
LEA Unique Education Provider22%
PSA School1717%
Total101100%

Table B10. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
ISD SchoolNRNRNRNRNR
LEA School23,16350%206,91748%64%
LEA Unique Education ProviderNRNRNRNRNR
PSA School22,70049%221,27852%65%
Total46,093100%429,164100%65%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell values.

Table B11. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Part-Time (PT) Virtual Schools

Entity Type# of PT Schools% of PT Schools
ISD School462%
ISD Unique Education Provider30%
LEA School1,83687%
LEA Unique Education Provider141%
PSA School20710%
Total2,106100%

Table B12. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
ISD School2,0311%10,6140%66%
ISD Unique Education ProviderNRNRNRNRNR
LEA School307,02182%2,547,45979%72%
LEA Unique Education ProviderNRNRNRNRNR
PSA School66,60518%651,84220%87%
Total374,841100%3,218,329100%75%
Note: Because some students took courses across multiple entity types, a student may be counted toward more than one type. The total row, however, reflects the number of unique students.

Table B13. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by School Emphasis

School Emphasis# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Alternative Education28613%359,39710%
General Education1,87485%3,276,96390%
Special Education432%11,0110%
Vocational/CTE40%1220%
Total2,207100%3,647,493100%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell values.

Table B14. 2020-21 Virtual Pass Rate by School Emphasis

School EmphasisPass Count# of EnrollsPass Rate
Alternative Education175,034359,39749%
General Education2,503,0403,276,96376%
Special EducationNRNRNR
Vocational/CTENRNRNR
Total2,684,0213,647,49374%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell values.

Table B15. 2020-21 Virtual Pass Rates for General Education and Alternative Education Schools by Entity Type

Entity TypeGeneral Ed Pass RateAlternative Ed Pass Rate
ISD SchoolNRNR
ISD Unique Education ProviderNRNR
LEA School73%52%
LEA Unique Education ProviderNRNR
PSA School86%34%
Total76%49%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 10 schools for that cell or to prevent calculating cell values.

Table B16. 2020-21 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 91015%4350%
10 to 19673%9560%
20 to 29522%1,2820%
30 to 39301%1,0150%
40 to 49362%1,6320%
50 to 59281%1,5270%
60 to 69201%1,2930%
70 to 79261%1,9070%
80 to 89251%2,1090%
90 to 99311%2,9320%
100+1,79181%3,632,405100%
Total2,207100%3,647,493100%

Table B17. 2020-21 Percentage of Schools by Ratio of Virtual Courses to Student and School Pass Rate

School Pass Rate1 to 2 Virtual Courses / Learner3 to 4 Virtual Courses / Learner5+ Virtual Courses / Learner
0% to <10%6%6%4%
10% to <20%2%3%2%
20% to <30%3%3%5%
30% to <40%5%4%7%
40% to <50%7%6%10%
50% to <60%9%11%11%
60% to <70%9%13%13%
70% to <80%12%15%15%
80% to <90%19%15%17%
90% to 100%29%25%16%
Total100%100%100%

Table B18. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments by Locale

Locale# of Schools% of Schools# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Rural71132%780,23921%
Town33615%413,32511%
Suburb71833%1,294,11235%
City42719%1,149,71332%
Not Specified151%10,1040%
Total2,207100%3,647,493100%

Table B19. 2020-21 Percentage of Schools with Virtual Enrollments by Virtual Enrollment Totals and Locale

Locale1 to 24 Enrolls25 to 49 Enrolls50 to 74 Enrolls75 to 99 Enrolls100+ EnrollsTotal
Rural8%4%3%4%81%100%
Town9%2%3%2%84%100%
Suburb9%4%3%3%82%100%
City8%7%4%3%78%100%
Not Specified13%0%0%0%87%100%

Table B20. 2020-21 Virtual Pass Rate by Locale

LocalePass Rate% Change from 19-20
Rural69%22%
Town64%12%
Suburb78%22%
City75%16%
Not Specified68%8%
Total 74%18%

Table B21. 2020-21 Percentage of Schools with Virtual Enrollments by Building Pass Rate and Locale

Locale0% to 20% Pass Rate20% to 40% Pass Rate40% to 60% Pass Rate60% to 80% Pass Rate80% to 100% Pass RateTotal
Rural6%11%25%30%28%100%
Town6%19%28%24%23%100%
Suburb7%7%15%27%44%100%
City7%8%16%22%47%100%
Not Specified20%7%27%20%27%100%

Table B22. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with Virtual Enrollments by School Poverty Levels

School Poverty Category# of Schools with Virtual Learners# of MI Schools (All)% of Schools with Virtual Learners
Low Poverty (<=25%)27446859%
Mid-Low Poverty (>25% to <=50%)61894066%
Mid-High Poverty (>50% to <=75%)7741,10870%
High Poverty (>75%)53490559%
Missing7NANA
Total2,2073,42165%
Note: All Michigan K-12 schools with building codes were used to calculate the state figures.

Table B23. 2020-21 Number and Pass Rate of Virtual Enrollments by School Poverty Levels

School Poverty CategoryPass Count# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Low Poverty (<=25%)261,893309,3338%85%
Mid-Low Poverty (>25% to <=50%)686,475890,16224%77%
Mid-High Poverty (>50% to <=75%)825,7701,189,18233%69%
High Poverty (>75%)907,0471,255,81534%72%
Missing2,8363,0010%95%
Total2,684,0213,647,493100%74%

Appendix C – Course Tables

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

Table C1. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Subject Area

Subject Area# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources2,3710%71%
Architecture and Construction1,3860%76%
Business and Marketing31,5711%74%
Communication and Audio/Visual Technology13,5110%67%
Computer and Information Sciences85,3942%79%
Engineering and Technology11,6260%77%
English Language and Literature664,26518%72%
Fine and Performing Arts387,16711%80%
Foreign Language and Literature118,0923%68%
Health Care Sciences7,9310%73%
Hospitality and Tourism2,8000%74%
Human Services39,5931%76%
Life and Physical Sciences513,44414%72%
Manufacturing2,9030%84%
Mathematics575,91316%70%
Military Science5,2230%65%
Miscellaneous223,2236%77%
Nonsubject Specific110,0483%78%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education311,5889%77%
Public, Protective, and Government Services3,7680%75%
Religious Education and Theology2150%87%
Social Sciences and History534,13615%73%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics1,3250%86%
Total3,647,493100%74%

Table C2. 2020-21 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners for Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses by Subject Area

Subject AreaVirtual Pass RateNon-Virtual Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources71%79%
Architecture and Construction76%82%
Business and Marketing74%80%
Communication and Audio/Visual Technology67%81%
Computer and Information Sciences79%72%
Engineering and Technology77%76%
English Language and Literature72%72%
Fine and Performing Arts80%78%
Foreign Language and Literature68%74%
Health Care Sciences73%86%
Hospitality and Tourism74%75%
Human Services76%74%
Life and Physical Sciences72%72%
Manufacturing84%79%
Mathematics70%70%
Military Science65%75%
Miscellaneous77%75%
Nonsubject Specific78%73%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education77%76%
Public, Protective, and Government Services75%75%
Religious Education and Theology87%80%
Social Sciences and History73%72%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics86%82%
Total74%73%

Table C3. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
English/Language Arts I (9th grade)61,3609%54%
English/Language Arts II (10th grade)57,8119%59%
English/Language Arts III (11th grade)49,7017%62%
English/Language Arts IV (12th grade)43,5467%70%
Language Arts (grade 8)40,9106%72%
Language Arts (grade 7)39,7876%73%
Language Arts (grade 6)36,2945%77%
Language Arts (grade 5)26,7804%84%
Language Arts (grade 4)26,7424%84%
Language Arts (grade 2)26,0834%82%
Total409,01462%69%
Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 664,265 for this subject area.

Table C4. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
Algebra I63,37411%53%
Geometry63,12011%58%
Algebra II57,46510%64%
Mathematics (grade 7)39,9297%73%
Mathematics (grade 6)37,2686%77%
Mathematics (grade 8)32,4706%69%
Mathematics (grade 5)30,6785%82%
Mathematics (grade 4)29,4185%83%
Mathematics (grade 3)27,6455%82%
Mathematics (grade 2)27,1305%83%
Total408,49771%69%
Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 575,913 for this subject area.

Table C5. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
Biology63,32212%57%
Chemistry43,3038%63%
Science (grade 7)36,7887%73%
Science (grade 6)35,9667%79%
Science (grade 8)33,9327%73%
Science (grade 5)29,9646%83%
Science (grade 4)28,9656%83%
Science (grade 3)27,0495%82%
Physical Science26,6915%56%
Science (grade 2)26,0125%83%
Total351,99269%72%
Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 513,444 for this subject area.

Table C6. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
U.S. History—Comprehensive57,62611%60%
World History and Geography35,3767%59%
Social Studies (grade 6)33,7216%78%
Social Studies (grade 7)33,4726%75%
Social Studies (grade 5)30,1186%83%
Social Studies (grade 8)30,0856%74%
Economics29,2755%65%
Social Studies (grade 4)28,4275%83%
Social Studies (grade 3)26,4575%83%
Social Studies (grade 2)25,5085%83%
Total330,06562%73%
Note: % of Enrolls based on the overall total of 534,136 for this subject area.

Table C7. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate for AP Courses

AP Course Title# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
AP 2-D Art and Design740%85%
AP Art History2641%81%
AP Biology1,2825%89%
AP Calculus AB1,6056%88%
AP Calculus BC5142%96%
AP Chemistry9003%85%
AP Comparative Government and Politics2041%94%
AP Computer Science A8083%86%
AP Computer Science Principles2511%73%
AP Drawing3171%56%
AP Economics460%52%
AP English Language and Composition3,83114%86%
AP English Literature and Composition3,08411%90%
AP Environmental Science7103%84%
AP European History1230%89%
AP French Language and Culture590%78%
AP German Language and Culture140%NR
AP Government6362%89%
AP Human Geography2281%89%
AP Macroeconomics5062%91%
AP Microeconomics3731%91%
AP Music Theory1831%64%
AP Physics 12451%83%
AP Physics 290%NR
AP Physics C2661%91%
AP Physics C: Mechanics60%NR
AP Psychology2,82411%85%
AP Seminar1330%95%
AP Spanish Language and Culture4442%87%
AP Spanish Literature and Culture1100%93%
AP Statistics1,2605%87%
AP U.S. Government and Politics1,4165%89%
AP U.S. History2,1838%88%
AP World History: Modern1,9807%85%
Total26,888100%87%
Note: An additional 1,826 enrollments had a course type listed as Advanced Placement, but did not match an AP SCED Code. Similarly, there existed 371 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 fewer than 25 for that cell.

Table C8. 2020-21 Virtual Enrollments Percentage by Subject Area and Locale

Subject Area% Rural% Town% Suburb% City% Not Specified
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources0%0%0%0%0%
Architecture and Construction0%0%0%0%0%
Business and Marketing1%1%1%1%1%
Communication and Audio/Visual Technology0%0%0%0%1%
Computer and Information Sciences2%2%3%2%2%
Engineering and Technology0%0%0%0%0%
English Language and Literature19%18%17%19%17%
Fine and Performing Arts8%9%11%13%11%
Foreign Language and Literature3%3%3%3%6%
Health Care Sciences0%0%0%0%0%
Hospitality and Tourism0%0%0%0%1%
Human Services1%1%2%1%1%
Life and Physical Sciences14%14%14%14%14%
Manufacturing0%0%0%0%0%
Mathematics16%16%15%16%17%
Military Science0%0%0%0%0%
Miscellaneous7%6%7%5%9%
Nonsubject Specific4%4%4%1%0%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education8%9%8%9%6%
Public, Protective, and Government Services0%0%0%0%0%
Religious Education and Theology0%0%0%0%0%
Social Sciences and History16%16%15%14%16%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics0%0%0%0%0%
Total100%100%100%100%100%

Table C9. 2020-21 Virtual Enrollment Pass Rates by Subject Area and Locale

Subject AreaRural Pass RateTown Pass RateSuburban Pass RateCity Pass RateNot Specified Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources67%71%77%76%NR
Architecture and Construction72%78%78%78%NR
Business and Marketing75%69%75%73%76%
Communication and Audio/Visual Technology58%64%70%71%90%
Computer and Information Sciences70%64%84%80%83%
Engineering and Technology77%81%81%71%57%
English Language and Literature68%63%76%73%64%
Fine and Performing Arts75%66%83%82%74%
Foreign Language and Literature64%61%69%70%72%
Health Care Sciences71%65%82%66%NR
Hospitality and Tourism74%63%79%73%81%
Human Services74%72%76%77%63%
Life and Physical Sciences67%64%76%74%70%
Manufacturing82%78%89%87%NR
Mathematics65%62%74%73%61%
Military ScienceNRNR81%63%NR
Miscellaneous74%65%84%73%80%
Nonsubject Specific77%69%79%85%NR
Physical, Health, and Safety Education74%68%80%80%65%
Public, Protective, and Government Services73%74%79%69%NR
Religious Education and Theology72%NR86%92%NR
Social Sciences and History68%65%77%74%62%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics93%74%87%82%NR
Total69%64%78%75%68%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 25 virtual enrollments for that cell.

Table C10. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Subject Area and Student Sex

Subject Area# of Female Enrolls# of Male Enrolls% of Female Enrolls% of Male EnrollsFemale Pass RateMale Pass Rate
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources1,4429290%0%73%67%
Architecture and Construction3271,0590%0%81%75%
Business and Marketing15,43616,1351%1%75%72%
Communication and Audio/Visual Technology7,2826,2290%0%71%63%
Computer and Information Sciences38,65046,7442%3%80%78%
Engineering and Technology4,5507,0760%0%79%76%
English Language and Literature328,214336,05118%18%73%70%
Fine and Performing Arts199,257187,91011%10%80%79%
Foreign Language and Literature62,61555,4773%3%71%64%
Health Care Sciences5,6262,3050%0%76%66%
Hospitality and Tourism1,5091,2910%0%77%71%
Human Services20,56019,0331%1%77%74%
Life and Physical Sciences255,018258,42614%14%74%71%
Manufacturing6632,2400%0%85%84%
Mathematics285,441290,47216%16%72%69%
Military Science2,6212,6020%0%69%60%
Miscellaneous109,051114,1726%6%78%75%
Nonsubject Specific53,93456,1143%3%78%77%
Physical, Health, and Safety Education149,002162,5868%9%78%77%
Public, Protective, and Government Services2,3081,4600%0%78%68%
Religious Education and Theology128870%0%88%85%
Social Sciences and History268,796265,34015%14%74%71%
Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics1871,1380%0%80%86%
Total1,812,6171,834,876100%100%75%72%
Note: Pass Rate data are not reported (NR) if there were fewer than 25 virtual enrollments for that cell.

Table C11. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Virtual Method

Virtual Method# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Blended Learning682,35119%85%
Digital Learning265,1117%64%
Online Course2,700,03174%72%
Total3,647,493100%74%

Appendix D – Student Tables

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

Table D1. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Students with Percent Year over Year Change

Grade Level# of Students% of Students% Change from 19-20
K24,1676%2,251%
124,8516%2,048%
224,6346%1,890%
324,5466%1,954%
424,6366%1,734%
525,0866%1,478%
627,9057%967%
728,9417%701%
831,2667%527%
939,91610%137%
1043,33110%94%
1145,61111%79%
1254,71013%38%
Total418,513100%243%
Note: Because some students took courses across multiple grade levels, a student may be counted toward more than one grade level. The total row, however, reflects the number of unique students.

Table D2. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Student Sex

Student Sex# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Female208,39150%1,812,61750%75%
Male210,16150%1,834,87650%72%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%
Note: A few students had enrollments where their sex was listed as male on some, but female on others.

Table D3. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Race /Ethnicity# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
African American or Black115,21028%1,091,09030%75%
American Indian or Alaska Native2,5471%19,4301%62%
Asian9,9482%88,6892%91%
Hispanic or Latino39,5149%345,4419%71%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander3440%2,9620%71%
White228,45755%1,892,93652%73%
Two or More Races20,5775%189,1255%73%
Unknown3,0521%17,8200%61%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%
Note: The sum of the student rows exceeds the 418,513 total number because a few students had enrollments across multiple schools where one school listed the student as one race/ethnicity, but the other school reported a different value. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D4. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Poverty Status

Poverty Status# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Yes266,67964%2,413,02266%69%
No151,62636%1,233,55034%82%
Unknown2090%9210%31%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%
Note: The sum of the student rows exceeds the 418,513 number by one because one school reported “yes” and another “no” for the student. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D5. 2020-21 Pass Rate Comparison for Virtual Learners for Their Virtual and Non-Virtual Courses by Poverty Status

Poverty StatusVirtual Pass RateNon-Virtual Pass RateVirtual Pass Rate – Non-Virtual Pass Rate
Yes69%66%4%
No82%83%-2%
Unknown31%34%-3%
Total74%73%0%
Note: The Virtual Pass Rate – Non-Virtual Pass Rate calculation was run prior to rounding. That rounding effect accounts for what may appear to be calculation errors.

Table D6. 2020-21 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 PovertyPass Rate for Virtual Learners in Poverty
Full-Time Virtual64%65%58%
Part-Time Virtual64%66%71%
Total64%66%69%

Table D7. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments by School Poverty Levels

School Poverty Category# of Virtual Students# of All MI Students% of Virtual Students
Low Poverty (<=25%)43,308289,38315%
Mid-Low Poverty (>25% to <=50%)110,915426,70326%
Mid-High Poverty (>50% to <=75%)134,883385,16735%
High Poverty (>75%)133,106543,69524%
Missing6670NA
Total418,5131,437,61229%
Note: The sum of the student rows exceeds the 418,513 number because some students had enrollments across categories. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students. Also, all Michigan K-12 schools with building codes were used to calculate the state figures. The 1.4M total also reflects the number of unique MI K-12 students.

Table D8. 2020-21 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 EnrollsPass Rate
Yes55,80213%499,43614%69%
No360,22486%3,130,23786%74%
Unknown3,0521%17,8200%61%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%
Note: The sum of the student rows exceeds the 418,513 number because some students had enrollments across multiple schools where one school listed the student under a specific special education status, but the other school reported a different status. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D9. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate by Full- or Part-Time Status

Virtual Subset# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Full-Time Virtual46,09311%429,16412%65%
Part-Time Virtual374,84190%3,218,32988%75%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%
Note: The sum of the student rows exceeds the 418,513 number because some students had enrollments in both full-time and part-time virtual schools. The unique total was used to emphasize the true number of virtual students.

Table D10. 2020-21 Pass Rate Comparison for Full- and Part-Time Virtual Learners

Virtual SubsetVirtual Pass RateNon-Virtual Pass Rate
Full-Time Virtual65%82%
Part-Time Virtual75%73%
Total74%73%
Note: There were 46,326 non-virtual enrollments reported for Full-Time Virtual students.

Table D11. Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Students’ Percentage of Enrollments Delivered Virtually

% of Enrollments an Individual Student Took Virtually# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
<25% of Enrolls Virtual58,63914%103,4183%65%
25% to 49% of Enrolls Virtual49,01512%260,6287%48%
50% to 74% of Enrolls Virtual44,05111%374,11810%59%
75% or More of Enrolls Virtual266,80864%2,909,32980%78%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%

Table D12. Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments from LEA Schools Only with Pass Rates by Students’ Percentage of Enrollments Delivered Virtually

% of Enrollments Delivered Virtually# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
<25% of Enrolls Virtual54,90317%95,4913%66%
25% to 49% of Enrolls Virtual44,95114%236,5209%49%
50% to 74% of Enrolls Virtual39,64412%331,12912%59%
75% or More of Enrolls Virtual189,93958%2,091,23676%76%
Total329,437100%2,754,376100%71%

Table D13. Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments from PSA Schools Only with Pass Rates by Students’ Percentage of Enrollments Delivered Virtually

% of Enrollments Delivered Virtually# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
<25% of Enrolls Virtual3,2894%5,7811%55%
25% to 49% of Enrolls Virtual2,0312%9,7121%42%
50% to 74% of Enrolls Virtual2,1302%16,5682%57%
75% or More of Enrolls Virtual81,64992%841,05996%81%
Total89,099100%873,120100%81%

Table D14. Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by District Mobility

District Mobility# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Stable3,383,75493%77%
Incoming57,7792%63%
Outgoing188,1405%23%
Missing17,8200%61%
Total3,647,493100%74%

Table D15. Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by District Mobility and Poverty Status

District Mobility# of In Poverty Enrolls# of Not In Poverty Enrolls% of In Poverty Enrolls% of Not In Poverty EnrollsIn Poverty
Pass Rate
Not In Poverty
Pass Rate
Stable2,212,1981,171,55692%95%73%84%
Incoming47,39210,3872%1%62%69%
Outgoing146,58741,5536%3%19%37%
Missing6,84510,0540%1%52%70%
Total2,413,0221,233,550100%100%69%82%

Table D16. Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by District Mobility and Locale

District Mobility% of Rural Enrolls% of Town Enrolls% of Suburban Enrolls% of City Enrolls% of Not Specified Enrolls
Stable92%91%93%94%87%
Incoming2%2%1%1%6%
Outgoing6%6%5%5%7%
Missing0%1%1%0%0%
Total100%100%100%100%100%

Table D17. Virtual Pass Rates by District Mobility and Locale

District MobilityRural Pass RateTown Pass RateSuburban Pass RateCity Pass RateNot Specified Pass Rate
Stable73%68%80%79%72%
Incoming58%54%69%67%57%
Outgoing21%22%29%18%19%
Missing47%50%68%47%48%
Total69%64%78%75%68%

Table D18. Percentage of Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by District Mobility and Full-Time (FT) or Part-Time (PT) Virtual Status

District Mobility% of FT Enrolls% of PT EnrollsFT Pass RatePT Pass Rate
Stable86%94%69%78%
Incoming4%1%51%68%
Outgoing10%5%28%21%
Missing1%0%60%61%
Total100%100%65%75%

Table D19. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Part-Time Virtual 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 EnrollsPass Rate
Passed All NV Courses75,71450%377,83547%67%
Did Not Pass 1 or 2 NV Courses22,81515%111,90714%54%
Did Not Pass 3 or More NV Courses51,41734%315,15839%46%
Total149,946100%804,900100%57%

Table D20. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments by Virtual Course Performance

Virtual Course Performance# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Passed All231,24055%1,901,04652%100%
Passed Some, But Not All120,25929%1,349,88337%58%
Didn’t Pass Any67,01416%396,56411%0%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%

Table D21. 2020-21 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 217,04225%
3 to 49,00413%
5 to 617,49226%
7 to 89,11314%
9 to 104,9517%
11+9,41214%
Total67,014100%

Table D22. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rates by Virtual Usage

Virtual Usage# of Students% of Students# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
1 to 2 Virtual Courses66,30716%92,6683%72%
3 to 4 Virtual Courses39,4439%144,3654%68%
5 or More Virtual Courses312,76375%3,410,46094%74%
Total418,513100%3,647,493100%74%

Appendix E – State Assessment Tables

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

Table E1. 2020-21 Comparison of Virtual and State Proficiency Rates on 11th Grade State Assessment Measures

AssessmentVirtual LearnersAll Learners Statewide
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT)49%57%
Mathematics (SAT)26%35%
Science (M-STEP)13%15%
Social Studies (M-STEP)38%44%
Note: Statewide assessment data were available from the MI School Data PortalSAT measures are on the College Readiness report. The M-STEP measures can be found on the High School State Testing Performance report.

Table E2. 2020-21 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners with Three or More Non-Virtual Enrollments by Non-Virtual Performance

AssessmentPass All NVDid Not Pass 1 or 2 NVDid Not Pass 3 or More NV
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT)66%44%28%
Mathematics (SAT)41%21%12%
Science (M-STEP)18%10%6%
Social Studies (M-STEP) 50%33%23%

Table E3. 2020-21 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners by Poverty Status

AssessmentIn PovertyNot In PovertyAll Virtual Learners
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT)34%62%49%
Mathematics (SAT)13%37%26%
Science (M-STEP)7%17%13%
Social Studies (M-STEP) 26%48%38%

Table E4. 2020-21 State Assessment Proficiency Rates for Virtual Learners by Virtual Type

AssessmentPart-TimeFull-TimeAll Virtual Learners
Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (SAT)50%41%49%
Mathematics (SAT)27%17%26%
Science (M-STEP)13%11%13%
Social Studies (M-STEP) 38%33%38%

Appendix F – Higher Performing Schools Tables

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

Table F1. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Student Count Category

Student CountSchool Count% of Schools
10 or Fewer9412%
11 to 25648%
26 to 50729%
51 to 9913217%
100 or More43054%
Total792100%

Table F2. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools and Virtual Enrollments from Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Virtual Count Category

Virtual Enroll Count# of Schools% of Schools# of Virtual Enrolls% of Virtual Enrolls
1 to 9648%2760%
10 to 29496%9790%
30 to 49273%1,0670%
50 to 99466%3,4470%
100 or More60677%1,701,671100%
Total792100%1,707,440100%

Table F3. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Number of Virtual Courses Offered

Virtual Courses Offered# of Schools% of Schools
10 or Fewer19124%
11 to 2515419%
26 to 5018623%
More than 5026133%
Total792100%

Table F4. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate as a Percentage of All Virtual Schools

Entity Type# of Higher Performing Schools# of Virtual Schools% of Virtual Schools
ISD School264755%
ISD Unique Education ProviderNR3NR
LEA School6421,91733%
LEA Unique Education ProviderNR16NR
PSA School11622452%
Total7922,20736%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) out of caution for confidentiality.

Table F5. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Locale

Locale# of Higher Performing Schools# of Virtual Schools% of Virtual Schools
Rural19871128%
Town7633623%
Suburb31571844%
City19942747%
Not Specified41527%
Total7922,20736%

Table F6. 2020-21 Number of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate Data from Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Race/Ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity# of Students# of Pass# of EnrollsPass Rate
African American or Black60,676528,547586,35690%
American Indian or Alaska Native6835,0345,80987%
Asian6,68459,91462,56696%
Hispanic or Latino16,767145,610161,67890%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander1321,0531,23585%
Two or More Races8,97283,17091,69991%
Unknown7451,9632,55577%
White85,410714,960795,54290%
Total179,7661,540,2511,707,44090%

Table F7. 2020-21 Number of Students and Virtual Enrollments with Pass Rate Data from Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Poverty Status

Poverty Status# of Students% of Students# of Pass# of Enrolls% of EnrollsPass Rate
Y108,95561%948,5741,070,20063%89%
N70,74339%591,500636,96637%93%
Unknown680%1772740%65%
Total179,766100%1,540,2511,707,440100%90%

Table F8. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by School Poverty Category

School Poverty Category# of Higher Performing Schools% of Higher Performing Schools# of All Virtual Schools% of All Virtual Schools
Low Poverty (<=25%)15419%27456%
Mid-Low Poverty (>25% to <=50%)24130%61839%
Mid-High Poverty (>50% to <=75%)19124%77425%
High Poverty (>75%)20125%53438%
Missing51%771%
Total792100%2,20736%

Table F9. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Full- or Part-Time Status

Full- or Part-Time Status# of Higher Performing Schools% of Higher Performing Schools# of All Virtual Schools% of All Virtual Schools
Full-Time152%10115%
Part-Time77798%2,10637%
Total792100%2,10636%

Table F10. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by School Emphasis

School Emphasis# of Higher Performing Schools# of All Virtual Schools% of All Virtual Schools
Alternative Education3628613%
General Education7321,87439%
Special EducationNR43NR
Vocational/CTENR4NR
Total7922,20736%
Note: Data are not reported (NR) out of caution for confidentiality.

Table F11. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Students* from Schools with 80% or Higher Pass Rate by Pass Rate Difference Category

Pass Rate Difference Category# of Students% of Students
Virtual Less than Non-Virtual5,48623%
Virtual Meets/Exceed Non-Virtual18,84977%
Total24,335100%
* Note: Only virtual learners who took a minimum of three virtual courses and three non-virtual courses are included in the table.

Appendix G – Completion Status Tables

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

Table G1. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status

Completion Status# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Audited14,8150%
Completed/Failed409,93111%
Completed/Passed2,684,02174%
Incomplete79,3182%
Ongoing Enrolled2930%
Testing Out1630%
Withdrawn/Exited305,4628%
Withdrawn/Failing13,8790%
Withdrawn/Passing139,6114%
Total3,647,493100%

Table G2. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Entity Type

Completion StatusISD School % of EnrollsISD UEP % of EnrollsLEA School % of EnrollsLEA UEP % of EnrollsPSA School % of Enrolls
Audited0%0%0%0%1%
Completed/Failed5%3%13%5%7%
Completed/Passed67%91%71%78%81%
Incomplete2%2%2%1%3%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited26%3%9%15%5%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%0%0%1%
Withdrawn/Passing1%2%4%1%3%
Total100%100%100%100%100%
Note: UEP = Unique Education Provider

Table G3. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Full-Time Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status

Completion Status# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Audited5,8951%
Completed/Failed61,08514%
Completed/Passed277,29465%
Incomplete30,4257%
Ongoing Enrolled00%
Testing Out00%
Withdrawn/Exited28,6607%
Withdrawn/Failing6,0271%
Withdrawn/Passing19,7785%
Total429,164100%

Table G4. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Part-Time Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status

Completion Status# of Enrolls% of Enrolls
Audited8,9200%
Completed/Failed348,84611%
Completed/Passed2,406,72775%
Incomplete48,8932%
Ongoing Enrolled2930%
Testing Out1630%
Withdrawn/Exited276,8029%
Withdrawn/Failing7,8520%
Withdrawn/Passing119,8334%
Total3,218,329100%

Table G5. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and School Emphasis

Completion StatusAlt Ed % of EnrollsGen Ed % of EnrollsSpecial Ed % of Enrolls
Audited2%0%0%
Completed/Failed18%11%5%
Completed/Passed49%76%53%
Incomplete14%1%0%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited13%8%41%
Withdrawn/Failing1%0%0%
Withdrawn/Passing3%4%1%
Total 100%100%100%
Note: Reportable Programs and Vocational/CTE are not reported here because each had fewer than 10 schools.

Table G6. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Core Subject Area

Completion StatusEnglish % of EnrollsMath % of EnrollsScience % of EnrollsSocial Sci % of Enrolls
Audited0%0%0%0%
Completed/Failed12%14%13%13%
Completed/Passed72%70%72%73%
Incomplete2%3%2%3%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited9%9%8%8%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Passing4%4%4%3%
Total100%100%100%100%

Table G7. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Student Sex

Completion StatusMales % of EnrollsFemales % of Enrolls
Audited0%0%
Completed/Failed10%12%
Completed/Passed75%72%
Incomplete2%2%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%
Testing Out0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited8%9%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%
Withdrawn/Passing4%4%
Total100%100%

Table G8. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Race / Ethnicity

Completion StatusAfrican American % of EnrollsAmerican Indian or Alaska Native % of EnrollsAsian % of EnrollsHispanic or Latino % of EnrollsWhite % of Enrolls Two or More Races % of EnrollsUnknown % of Enrolls
Audited1%0%0%0%0%0%0%
Completed/Failed11%19%3%12%11%12%5%
Completed/Passed75%62%91%71%73%73%61%
Incomplete2%4%0%3%2%2%2%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%0%0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%0%0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited10%9%3%9%8%8%25%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%0%0%0%0%1%
Withdrawn/Passing2%6%2%4%5%4%6%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Note: Only Race / Ethnicities with 1,000 or more students are reported in the table.

Table G9. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Poverty Status

Completion StatusIn Poverty % of EnrollsNot In Poverty % of EnrollsUnknown % of Enrolls
Audited1%0%0%
Completed/Failed13%7%6%
Completed/Passed69%82%31%
Incomplete3%1%8%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited10%6%32%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%1%
Withdrawn/Passing4%3%21%
Total100%100%100%

Table G10. 2020-21 Number and Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status and Special Education Status

Completion StatusIn Special Ed % of EnrollsNot In Special Ed % of EnrollsUnknown % of Enrolls
Audited0%0%0%
Completed/Failed13%11%5%
Completed/Passed69%74%61%
Incomplete2%2%2%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%0%
Testing Out0%0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited11%8%25%
Withdrawn/Failing0%0%1%
Withdrawn/Passing5%4%6%
Total100%100%100%

Table G11. 2020-21 Percentage of Virtual Enrollments by Completion Status for Students Who Did Not Pass Any of Their Virtual Courses

Completion StatusAt Least One % of Enrolls11 or More % of Enrolls
Audited1%1%
Completed/Failed29%41%
Completed/Passed0%0%
Incomplete7%9%
Ongoing Enrolled0%0%
Testing Out0%0%
Withdrawn/Exited37%33%
Withdrawn/Failing2%2%
Withdrawn/Passing23%14%
Total100%100%
Table of Contents

Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.