Virtual School Meanderings

February 21, 2012

Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a fair amount about the proposed cyber charter legislation here in Michigan (see below).  When the original law was passed, the concept was to place limits on the two cyber charter schools for the first two years to allow data to be collected to determine how this form of educational delivery fare.  The proposed legislation, which is now before the House of Representatives, would essentially remove all meaningful restrictions to cyber charter schools without even bothering to check to see what the data has to say during those first two years.

Well, the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) results for 2011 were released last week, so let’s take a look at the first two years of the two existing cyber charter schools (i.e., Michigan Connections Academy [MICA] and Michigan Virtual Charter Academy [MVCA]) based on the information from the Detroit Free Press‘ MEAP database.

MEAP MICA 2010 MVCA 2010 Statewide 2010 MICA 2011 MVCA 2011 Statewide 2011
Grade 3 – Math 44.0% 14.3% 35% 42.2% 26.3% 36%
Grade 3 – Reading 75.0% 66.7% 63% 64.4% 55.3% 62%
Grade 4 – Math 23.7% 40.0% 40% 37.8% 20.5% 40%
Grade 4 – Reading 71.0% 66.7% 64% 82.2% 56.4% 68%
Grade 4 – Writing 36.8% 48.4% 47% 37.8% 25.6% 45%
Grade 5 – Math 13.9% 32.0% 30% 33.3% 36.8% 40%
Grade 5 – Reading 72.2% 68.0% 65% 77.8% 60.5% 69%
Grade 5 – Science 8.3% 8.0% 17% 18.5% 19.4% 15%
Grade 6 – Math 18.9% 20.0% 36% 19.0% 22.0% 37%
Grade 6 – Reading 75.7% 66.7% 63% 83.3% 70.7% 67%
Grade 6 – Social Studies 21.6% 20.0% 28% 21.4% 26.2% 28%
Grade 7 – Math 34.6% 14.7% 36% 36.2% 34.4% 37%
Grade 7 – Reading 73.1% 47.1% 56% 59.6% 57.4% 60%
Grade 7 – Writing 50.0% 35.3% 48% 38.3% 34.4% 47%
Grade 8 – Math 18.8% 19.1% 29% 29%
Grade 8 – Reading 65.6% 66.7% 56% 61%
Grade 8 – Science 12.5% 9.6% 15% 16%
Grade 9 – Social Studies 34.7% 33% 28.1% 24.6% 29%

The black items are scores above the statewide average. The red items are scores below the statewide average.

Just some rudimentary analysis indicates the following:

Michigan Connections Academy

  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in 9 of the 18 categories
  • 2010: only grade where the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in mathematics was above the statewide average was grade 3
  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in reading was above the statewide average in every grade it was tested
  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in science was below the statewide average in both grades it was tested
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in 9 of the 15 categories (although two of those were less than 1% below)
  • 2011: only grade where the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in mathematics was above the statewide average was in grade 3
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in reading was above the statewide average in each grade it was tested, except grade 7
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in each of the grade 7 areas
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in social studies was below the statewide average in both grades it was tested

Michigan Virtual Charter Academy

  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in 9 of the 17 categories
  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in reading was above the statewide average in each grade it was tested, except grade 7
  • 2010: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in science was below the statewide average in both grades it was tested
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in 13 of the 15 categories
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency was below the statewide average in each of the grade 3, grade 4, and grade 7 areas
  • 2011: percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in social studies was below the statewide average in both grades it was tested

I acknowledge that these analyses are rudimentary.  One of the advantages of the Michigan Department of Education being able to do this kind of analysis internally is that they would be able to link individual student performance to previous student performance.  What they results don’t tell us is how these students have done in the past.  It is possible that there were students that were meeting or exceeding proficiency in these two programs that failed to meet proficiency in their traditional brick-and-mortar school during the previous year.  It is this kind of information that the original law would have allows everyone to consider as decisions were made about what to do with cyber charter schooling for the 2012-13 school year.

As it stands now, both students in both programs performed better than the statewide average in about half of the testing areas in year one.  However, in year two MICA had students performing below the statewide average in 60% of the testing areas (or basically 50% again if you don’t include the two areas where there were a less than 1% difference), while MVCA had students performing below the statewide average in 87% of the testing areas.

Based on this data, certainly a model that should be expanded and replicated!

Previous entries on this topic:

5 Comments »

  1. […] I looked at the Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools using a rudimentary analysis of the 2010 and 2011 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) […]

    Pingback by More MEAP Numbers « Virtual School Meanderings — February 22, 2012 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  2. […] Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools […]

    Pingback by IT6230 – You Must Learn Online « Virtual School Meanderings — April 24, 2012 @ 6:02 am | Reply

  3. […] state. Yet, the performance of cyber-schooling in Michigan, not to mention around the country, is abysmal. It is telling that Michigan’s legislature is ramming this law through now, before the […]

    Pingback by Corporate School Reform, The Final Frontier | assailedteacher — April 27, 2012 @ 6:01 am | Reply

  4. […] Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools […]

    Pingback by IT6230 – You Must Learn Online | Virtual School Meanderings — April 23, 2013 @ 6:01 am | Reply

  5. […] – as well as other full-time programs – and their performance on the 2012 MEAPs (see Early Results For Michigan Cyber Charter Schools and More MEAP Numbers).  Back then the trends were clear: MICA were outperforming MVCA in […]

    Pingback by EDTECH537: Commentary Entry – Examining Full-Time Online Student Performance in Michigan | Virtual School Meanderings — July 8, 2014 @ 8:01 am | Reply


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