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.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Report: Disadvantaged College Students Least Likely to Be Exposed to Best Education Practices

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has issued a report concluding that the students most likely to benefit from several highly effective educational practices--those who are black, Hispanic, and "first generation"--are the least likely to be exposed to such practices while in college.

The report, discussed here in The Chronicle of Higher Education, notes that while 57 percent of white students have internships their employers view as highly desirable, only 46 percent of black and Hispanic students have comparable internship experiences. And while 36 percent of seniors whose parents had gone to college say they had to complete a capstone course or project integrating and applying what they have learned, just 29 percent of first-generation college students report having a capstone assignment. The lower a student's achievement levels when beginning college, the report says, the greater benefit he will get from the practices it describes.

Carol Geary Schneider, AACU's president, says the research contained in the new report shows that "we know what works, but we just aren't providing it to all students who could benefit."

Only 17 percent of all college freshmen take part in "learning communities," in which they take two or more linked courses together, even though involvement in such groups has been shown to improve retention, the report says. Just 19 percent of college seniors report having worked with a faculty member on a research project, even though students who have had such an experience report educational benefits such as a greater capacity for deep, integrative learning.

The author of the report is George D. Kuh, director of Indiana University's Center for Postsecondary Research.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hear Peter Schmidt Interviewed by the San Diego Union Tribune

Color and Money author Peter Schmidt was extensively interviewed by Chris Reed, an editorial writer for the San Diego Union Tribune, in September. A recording of the interview has now been posted online here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Efforts to Help Black Males Focus on the Positive

Color and Money author Peter Schmidt extensively documents pragmatic, research-based efforts to help black males succeed in college in a new article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The article does not gloss over the educational problems of black boys and men. It notes that black males graduate from high school and attend and complete college at disproportionately low rates and that black men are outnumbered by black women in colleges by a ratio nearly two to one, the highest level of gender imbalance of any racial or ethnic group. It cites a recent analysis by Shaun R. Harper, an assistant professor of higher-education management at the University of Pennsylvania, finding that fewer than a third of black men who enter four-year colleges as freshmen graduate within six years. Tellingly, Sterling H. Hudson III, dean of admissions and records at Morehouse College, is quoted saying "We really have to scour the entire country to seat a freshman class of 750 to 800 students."

But the article also offers plenty of reason for hope, documenting several efforts to research programs billed as helping black males succeed and to replicate those that are found to be having an impact.

It notes, for example, that University System of Georgia reports that its African American Male Initiative helped increase the system's enrollment of black male students by nearly 25 percent from 2002 to 2007, and that efforts are underway to determine which of several programs established as part of the initiative are having an impact.

Meanwhile, the Student African American Brotherhood, a national group that promotes mentor relationships and has chapters at more than 100 two-year and four-year colleges, is evaluating its programs' effectiveness with the help of a $725,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Mr. Harper of the University of Pennsylvania is involved in two separate ambitious undertakings. With a Lumnia grant he is overseeing a four-year effort by six yet-to-be named colleges to collaboratively work to improve the education outcomes for their black male students. On top of that, he has spent much of the past three years studying the attitudes and habits of more than 200 academically successful black male undergraduates at 42 public and private colleges.

One of the article's key conclusions is that efforts to help black males succeed in education institutions need to be mindful of the importance of support from their homes. It cites research by Mr. Harper and by Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, showing that most academically successful black males share a common background trait: parents who consistently express high expectations.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Public Law Schools in Arizona and Nebraska Accused of Bias Against White Applicants

The Center for Equal Opportunity has issued reports accusing the law schools of the Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Nebraska of systematically rejecting white applicants in favor of much weaker applicants from certain minority groups.

The center’s analysis of student data from the Arizona law schools concludes that — controlling for year of admission, test scores, grades, state residency, and sex — the odds ratio favoring black applicants over white ones at Arizona State’s law school exceeds 1,100 to 1, while the ratio favoring black applicants over white ones at the University of Arizona’s school exceeds 250 to 1. (More details are available here on the Chronicle of Higher Education blog.) The center's analysis of data from the Nebraska law school, discussed in more detail here, says the odds favoring black applicants to the law school over white applicants with the same academic profiles are 442 to 1.