According to the National Education Policy Center May 2018 report, “On-time graduation rate data were available for 247 full-time virtual schools and 152 blended schools. The graduation rates of 50.7% in virtual schools and 49.5% in blended schools fell far short of the national average of 83%.” 

The Center for Public Education states, “Emerging reports show a troubling overall picture of poor performance and low graduation rates for full-time online students.”

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder, did a study in 2019, which found that “Overall, 48.5% of full-time virtual schools were rated acceptable performance ratings… the on-time graduation rates for full-time virtual schools (50.1%)… fell far short of the national average of 84%.”

The average student-teacher ratio in the nation’s public schools is 16 students per teacher. But virtual schools reported having  2.7 times as many students per teacher (44) compared to the national average. 

According to a recent study from RAND Corporation and New York University, “Our findings suggest that students in e-schools may not be learning at the same rate as their peers in traditional public schools and charter schools, mirroring findings from a growing research base.”

Stanford University’s CREDO partnered with a couple other research groups on a survey in 2015. In an article written about this study, the author summarized the results as such: “Students who attend online charter schools – and receive no instruction from an in-person teacher – tend to do much worse than their peers in bricks-and-mortar schools… Some students in online-only schools showed academic results in math that were the equivalent of what would be expected if a student skipped 180 days of school – virtually a full year’s worth of classes. In reading, the deficiency was the equivalent of 72 days of school.”