The National Education Policy Center released its sixth annual report on full-time virtual and blended learning schools. The report was written by Gary Miron, Christopher Shank, and Caryn Davidson of Western Michigan University.

As in the past, these schools get worse results than traditional public schools. Nevertheless, their enrollments continue to grow.

“Compared to prior years, there has been a shift in source of growth, with more school dis- tricts opening their own virtual schools. However, these district-run schools have typically been small, with limited enrollment. Thus, while large virtual schools operated by for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) have lost considerable market share, they still dominate this sector.”

“This report provides a census of full-time virtual and blended schools. It also includes stu- dent demographics, state-specific school performance ratings, and—where possible—an analysis of school performance measures.

“• In 2016-17, 429 full-time virtual schools enrolled 295,518 students, and 296 blended schools enrolled 116,716. Enrollments in virtual schools increased by 17,000 students between 2015-16 and 2016-17 and enrollments in blended learn- ing schools increased by 80,000 during this same time period.

“• Thirty-four states had full-time virtual schools and 29 states had blended schools. Four states had blended but no full-time virtual schools (Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and Rhode Island). Nine states had virtual schools but no full-time blended learning schools. The number of states with virtual schools in 2016-17 is the same as in 2015-16, although there was an increase of eight states with full- time blended learning schools over the past two years.

“• Virtual schools operated by for-profit EMOs were three times as large as other virtual schools. They enrolled an average of 1,288 students. In contrast, those op- erated by nonprofit EMOs enrolled an average of 407 students, and independent virtual schools (not affiliated with an EMO) enrolled an average of 411 students.

“• Although private (profit and nonprofit) EMOs operated only 35.9% of full-time virtual schools, those schools enrolled 61.8% of all virtual school students.

“• Just under half of all virtual schools in the inventory were charter schools, but to- gether they accounted for 75.7% of enrollment. While districts have been increas- ingly creating their own virtual schools, those tended to enroll far fewer students.

“• In the blended sector, nonprofit EMOs operated 30.4% and for-profit EMOs op- erated 22.6%. Nearly half (47%) of blended schools were independent. Blend- ed schools operated by nonprofits were most numerous and substantially larger than others in the sector. Rocketship Education remained the largest nonprofit operator, with 16 schools that enrolled just over 7,700 students—almost 7% of all students in blended schools.

“• Blended schools enrolled an average of 394 students, but blended schools man- aged by for-profit EMOs had a far larger average enrollment of 1,288. There were more charter blended schools (68.9%) than district blended schools (31.1%), and they had substantially larger average enrollments (456) than district blended schools (257).”

There is much more, covering student demographics, student-teacher ratios, and student performance.