Thematic Reports

In addition to its hallmark human development reports based on the American Human Development Index, Measure of America conducts research into specific well-being issues affecting Americans. Thematic research includes:

NYC High School Graduation

Measure of America’s research on high school graduation in New York City contributes to the ongoing discussion around high school quality, outcomes, and choice in the City by presenting the on-time graduation rates for high school students not by the schools they attend, since those data are already available, but rather by the neighborhoods they call home. 

 The 2016 report Is Neighborhood Still Destiny? addresses the following questions: How successful is the universal high school choice policy in weakening the well-known link between the conditions in students neighborhoods and their educational outcomes? Do the benefits of the current system outweigh its costs to students and families? How might it work better? 

Following the 2016 report, Measure of America worked with the New York Times for nearly a year to develop a custom dataset that analyzes NYC high school graduation rates in a way that hasn’t been done before: by admissions method. Our original research informed a feature story that asked and answered important questions about school choice and how to ensure every student has access to the best education the city has to offer. Read our findings in the 2017 report Who Graduates? 

A Tale of Two Recoveries: Impact of the US Housing Crisis on the Racial Wealth Gap Across Generations

Although there is considerable information about higher foreclosure rates among people of color and their higher likelihood of receiving subprime loans during the housing boom in the early years of the 21st Century, there has been less research regarding the long-term consequences of these discriminatory lending practices. Measure of America has collaborated with the American Civil Liberties Union to provide editorially independent research on the intergenerational impacts of lending abuses in the United States on different racial and ethnic groups. This research culminated in a report published in 2015 called Impact of the US Housing Crisis on the Racial Wealth Gap Across Generations.

The study examined the likely effect of the financial crisis on the racial wealth gap for the next generation. Among families that owned homes, white households have started to rebound from the worst effects of the housing bust and Great Recession while black households are still struggling to make up lost ground. The divergent recoveries are important in the immediate term, but they are also an especially ominous sign for the future. Unequal opportunity to rebuild wealth and housing equity coming out of the crisis is leading to widening racial disparities. The racial wealth gap, in other words, is now on track to compound over time. The report contains policy priorities for encouraging inclusive lending and providing a disincentive for discrimination in the housing market.