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.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Federal Report Says Minority Students Increasingly Clustered at Same Colleges

A new report by the U.S. Education Department says that the nation's minority undergraduates are increasingly clustering at institutions classified by the federal government as "minority-serving." From 1984 to 2004, the share of minority students enrolled at "minority-serving" colleges rose from 38 percent to 58 percent. A Chronicle of Higher Education article on the report's findings says Hispanic-serving colleges enrolled the largest share of all minority undergraduates, with 26.8 percent. Such institutions not only enrolled half of all Hispanic undergraduates, but served 19 percent of all Asian undergraduates and a large share of other minority groups as well. In terms of the share of all minority students served, Hispanic-serving institutions were followed by black-serving colleges (15.6 percent); Asian-serving colleges (7.5 percent); historically black colleges (5.1 percent); other minority-serving colleges (2.6 percent); and tribal and American Indian-serving colleges (0.6 percent).

Minority Groups Continue to Make Progress in Earning Doctorates

A new federal report says that minority-group members earned 20 percent of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens in 2006--an all-time high. Although the growth in the number of doctorates going to black and Asian Americans has slowed in the last decade, all minority groups are earning substantially more doctoral degrees--and account for a larger share of doctorates awarded--compared to a decade or two ago. How well various minority groups were doing depended on the field, with blacks accounting for most of the education doctorates earned by minorities, Asian Americans accounting for about half of all doctorates earning by minorities in engineering and the physical sciences, and Hispanics being the minority group with the greatest representation among doctorate earners in the humanities and social sciences. A Chronicle of Higher Education article summarizing the study's findings is available to that newspaper's subscribers here.

A separate report issued by the Council of Graduate Schools and and summarized here says that racial and ethnic minority members accounted for 28 percent of all graduate students in 2006, a 2-percent increase from the year before. A decade ago minorities accounted for 19 percent of all graduate students.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Listen to an Extensive NPR Interview with Peter Schmidt

National Public Radio's Margot Adler has interviewed Peter Schmidt at length as part of a wide-ranging discussion of higher-education access for the show Justice Talking. You can listen in here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Washington City Paper Profiles Peter Schmidt

Washington's City Paper has a profile of Peter Schmidt in its November 15 issue, available here.

New York Affirmative Action Smackdown

An Oxford-style debate over affirmative action took place in New York on Nov. 13, and supporters of affirmative action were declared the winners based on before-and-after audience polling. To be fair, however, the proposition that the two sides were debating--"It's time to end affirmative action"--seemed awfully broad, given that the term "affirmative action" covers a lot of practices that are not controversial. Plenty of past polling research suggests that, had the proposition been "It is time to end preferential treatment based on ethnicity or race," the outcome almost certainly would have been different. Chronicle of Higher Education blog coverage of the event, with a link to the transcript, is available here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The UCLA Student Newspaper Drills Without Novocain

The Daily Bruin student newspaper at the University of California at Los Angeles alleges that the university's elite orthodontics residency program has been violating university policy by granting special consideration in admissions to major donors and their relatives. The newspaper says "applicants related to donors giving six-figure gifts were automatically advanced over other students despite their lower test scores and grades." The report cites the case of a student who says program officials offered him admission, only to then say some members of the admissions board were on the fence and a donation of $60,000 might help his cause. Officials of the dental school are denying any wrongdoing, but the newspaper claims to have hundreds of pages of e-mails and internal documents, as well as dozens of interviews, to back its assertions. The student newspaper's report is here, while Chronicle of Higher Education blog coverage of the controversy can be found here. If you're inclined to believe the young journalists' story, make sure you have a sink to spit in. The good news is that Californians might be inspired to brush and floss more. UPDATE: In a subsequent report, the Los Angeles Times says the American Dental Association is investigating cheating by UCLA dental students on a licensing examination.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Two New Studies Shed Light on How Minority Students are Affected by Peer Groups and Parental Job Loss

Two new studies recently presented at a Washington DC conference provide new insights on some of the factors that help determine whether minority students go on to college and academically succeed there.

In one of the studies, summarized at some length in an article on The Chronicle of Higher Education blog, two researchers from the University of Chicago--Ariel Kalil, an associate professor of public policy, and Patrick Wightman, a doctoral student in public policy--found that middle-class black children are much more likely than middle-class white children to see their chances of going to college diminished by a parent losing a job. The study suggests that the economic vulnerability of single-parent families is a major contributing factor.

In the other study, Marta Tienda, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University, and Jason M. Fletcher, an assistant professor of public health at Yale University, examined how the academic achievement of black and Hispanic college freshmen is affected by the presence on campus of other freshmen from their high school. As discussed in a Chronicle of Higher Education blog article, the two researchers found that minority students at the University of Texas at Austin earned substantially better grades if other students from their high school and their racial or ethnic minority group entered college alongside them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New Survey Explores Minority Students' Views Toward Diversity

A survey of black, Hispanic, and Native American students conducted by Widmeyer Communications, a research and polling firm, finds that many such students choose a college based at least partly on whether they think it is racially and ethnically diverse. (A full report is available here on the Chronicle of Higher Education blog, available to nonsubscribers.) Nearly two-thirds said that it was at least somewhat important to them that students at the college they were considering studied and socialized with members of other races and ethnicities, nearly three-fourths said they want their college to promote such interaction. The survey's findings are somewhat at odds with other research showing a fair amount of self-segregation on campuses. It's worth noting that the Widmeyer survey lumped together its results from the three minority groups examined, possibly concealing variations between the three populations. (Hispanic students, who may belong to any race, have been shown in other studies to be comparatively adept at befriending other racial and ethnic groups.) An in-depth discussion of campus race relations--and how they are affected by affirmative action--can be found in Chapter 5 of Color and Money.

Friday, November 2, 2007

In Science and Engineering, Many More Minority Doctorates than Minority Professors

A new report financed by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation finds that blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans account for a much larger share of doctoral degree recipients in the sciences and engineering than one might surmise from the number of minority professors teaching classes in those fields at leading universities. In the field of chemistry, for example, the members of these three minority groups accounted for 7.5 percent of the doctorates awarded from 1996 to 2005, but just 3.9 of faculty members teaching chemistry at the 100 universities with the largest research budgets. As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the report says the paucity of minority college professors in such fields is a serious problem because such professors end up feeling isolated and minority students have little exposure to role models from their own racial and ethnic group. The report fails, however, to provide explanations for the numbers it offers. Is discrimination at work? Are differences in the prestige of the institutions awarding doctorates a factor? Might the private-sector businesses that compete with colleges to hire black, Hispanic, and Native American scientists and engineers be wooing them much more aggressively, and offering them larger salaries, than whites and Asian Americans in those fields? The report leaves the answers to such questions largely a mystery. A full text of the report is available here. Chronicle subscribers can find a story summarizing its findings here.