2022 State of Education Report

April 6, 2022

This third release of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s State of Education report comes as COVID-19 has brought forward historic hiring and retention challenges that are jolting businesses across the country. In Michigan, more than 1.5 million employees quit their jobs in 2021 as the Great Resignation is forcing employers across economic sectors to scramble for talent.

Looking over the longer term, the trajectory of postsecondary attainment for traditional-aged students and adult learners does not bode well for resolving talent challenges employers face. It also suggests that long-standing inequities in educational attainment based on race and income are likely to continue. Despite some minor progress in overall retention and graduation, the pre-pandemic decline in postsecondary enrollment continues while student preparedness is suffering and adult degree completion is dropping. While the true impact will not be known until more data becomes available, there is no question that the pandemic has significantly interrupted educational advancement and upward mobility for students and families. The data in this report illustrates a harsh reality: The long-term COVID-19 impact on education threatens an already leaky talent pipeline where large numbers of students do not enroll in postsecondary education while far too many of those that do, fail to graduate or earn a credential after six years. If trends accelerated or created by the pandemic continue, desired attainment and equity outcomes are at risk and will create increased workforce challenges across all industries. Now is the time for increased collaboration across all sectors – education, business, government, philanthropy, and community organizations. As more is learned about the pandemic’s long-term impact, doubling down on the necessary steps to achieve the goal of 60% postsecondary attainment and reducing the racial equity gap by half by 2030 has never been more urgent.

While the long-term impact of COVID-19 on education will not be known for some time, it will surely require an increased regional education push to slow enrollment decline and hastening of initiatives to strengthen our workforce and prosperity. Dedication to the goal of 60% postsecondary education attainment and reducing the racial equity gap by half by 2030 has never been more necessary. Understanding where we are as a region and state – never more important.

Read the full report HERE

**Data Disclaimer: This analysis utilizes data obtained through a confidential data application process submitted to the Michigan Education Data Center (MEDC)/Michigan Education Research Institute (MERI). Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan requested data access and completed the analysis included in this report. The data are structured and maintained by the MERI-Michigan Education Data Center (MEDC). MEDC data is modified for analysis purposes using rules governed by MEDC and are not identical to those data collected and maintained by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and/or Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). Results, information and opinions solely represent the analysis, information and opinions of the author(s) and are not endorsed by, or reflect the views or positions of, grantors, MDE and CEPI or any employee thereof.**