What people say about Color and Money-

"Anyone interested in the inequities of the selective college admissions process will find Color and Money clear-eyed, hard-hitting, enlightening, and informative."--Rachel Toor, author of Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process.
"For those concerned about why the march toward social justice in America has faltered badly for nearly forty years, Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a highly instructive--and greatly disturbing--guidepost." --Richard Kluger, author of Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality.
"An indispensible guide to the debate over affirmative action in the United States."--Michael Lind, author of The Next American Nation.
"This book is a must read for anyone concerned with access to higher education, especially to the nation’s elite universities, as well as with larger questions of social policy and social justice."--Terry MacTaggart, Former Chancellor, University of Maine System
"Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

Peter Schmidt is available as a speaker

Peter Schmidt is available to speak at colleges, bookstores, schools, churches, and at gatherings of education associations. His past speaking engagements are listed at the bottom of this Web site. If interested in having him appear, e-mail him at schmidt_peter@msn.com. He also is available as an expert source for journalists covering affirmative action. Those on a tight deadline should email him at peter.schmidt@chronicle.com.

Hear interviews with Peter Schmidt

Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Public Radio talked to Peter Schmidt about Color and Money in August. You can hear the interview here. Reading the book inspired Jack to write an essay on it, which you can read here. You also can hear Peter Schmidt talk about his book on the NPR program Justice Talking and in a Chronicle of Higher Education podcast.

Color and Money Is a College Course!

Many college professors are now using Color and Money in their classes, but Jack Dougherty, the director of the educational studies program at Trinity College in Connecticut, has gone a big step beyond. He has decided to name a freshman seminar "Color and Money" and to structure the class around the book. He has graciously agreed to share his syllabus, available here, for faculty members at other colleges who may have the same idea.


Monday, July 30, 2007

More than Meets the Eye in "The Show Me State"

The Missouri Civil Rights Initiative, the group leading a campaign to ban the use of affirmative-action preferences by public colleges and other state and local agencies there, has gone to court to challenge how Missouri's secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, wants the measure summarized on the ballot.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article giving the full back and forth between both sides. In a nutshell, the summary language for the ballot measure proposed by MoCRI says:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit any form of discrimination as an act of the state by declaring:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting?

As certified by Ms. Carnahan, a Democrat, this month, the summary language in the ballot petition's title says:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  1. Ban affirmative-action programs designed to eliminate discrimination against, and improve opportunities for, women and minorities in public contracting, employment, and education; and

  2. Allow preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to meet federal-program-funds eligibility standards as well as preferential treatment for bona fide qualifications based on sex?
One prominent higher-education lawyer privately notes that any college affirmative-action program "designed to eliminate discrimination against, and improve opportunities for, women and minorities" in higher education would run afoul of the limits the Supreme Court placed on such policies as far back as its landmark Bakke decision of 1978. The court specifically held in that ruling that colleges cannot use race-conscious admissions policies to remedy societal discrimination. For discrimination to be the justification, it must be discrimination that the college in question perpetrated. In both the Bakke decision and its Grutter v. Bollinger decision of 2003, the only justification for race-conscious admissions explicitly allowed by the Supreme Court was the desire to foster levels of racial and ethnic diversity that will provide educational benefits to all students. So, in essence, if the proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution bans what Ms. Carnahan says it bans, it bans what the Supreme Court says the U.S. Constitution already bans. Any Missouri college that has is operating a program like the ones she describes is vulnerable to lawsuit unless it has admitted to, or has been found guilty of, discrimination against minorities and women.

Postscript: If Carnahan's name sounds familiar, there is good reason for that. Her father, the late Mel Carnahan, was Missouri's governor from 1993 to 2000, and her mother served in the U.S. Senate. Her grandfather was a Congressman and U.S. ambassador appointed by JFK, and her brother, Russ, now holds a Congresssional seat.