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.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Study: Blacks Reap Smaller Gains from Majors in Lucrative Fields

A new study that tracked minority college students over time found that black students who majored in high-paying fields reaped smaller financial gains than comparable Asian- and Hispanic-American students when they entered the job market.

As discussed in more depth in an article on the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, the study tracked about 350 students who had applied for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program for low-income minority students and had gone through its selection process. If found that the salary premium that Asian- and Hispanic-American students received from majoring in science, technology, mathematics, or engineering was 50 percent higher than what black students who had majored in those fields were earning soon after college. Asian- and Hispanic-American students also reaped a higher salary premium than did black students for majoring in professional fields such as business or law.

The researchers behind the study--Tatiana Melguizo, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Southern California, and Gregory C. Wolniak, a research scientist at the National Opinion Research Center--found some evidence that variations in occupational choices might help explain the gaps. They did not look into whether discrimination played a role because they did not have sufficient data matching students with their employers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Conservative Advocacy Group Demands Admissions Data from UCLA

The Pacific Legal Foundation--a prominent conservative advocacy group--is demanding that the University of California at Los Angeles produce applicant data that might show whether it is considering race in admissions, in violation of a state ban on the practice.

As reported in an article on The Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, the foundation sent a letter to UCLA last month demanding a host of information under the state's open records laws. Among the documents that it requests in its letter are undergraduate applications (with all personally identifying information removed) from students seeking admission to the Classes of 2005 through 2008; records giving the identities of all applications readers, the scores they gave each application, and their reasons for deciding to admit or reject each candidate; and all handbooks and other documents designed to guide applications readers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Post-Election Analyses: Obama's Coattails Saved Affirmative-Action Preferences in Colorado

Ward Connerly's crusade against affirmative-action preferences suffered its first major defeat at the polls on election day, as Colorado voters narrowly rejected his proposed ban on the use of such preferences by public colleges and other state and local agencies.

A look back at what happened in Colorado suggests that Connerly's opponents would be mistaken in concluding they have clearly turned the tide against him, however.

For starters, the measure was defeated by an extremely narrow margin: 50.7 percent against, 49.3 percent for. It was not until several days after the election that state election officials concluded that it had, in fact, lost.

More importantly, as a Chronicle of Higher Education analysis of the election results points out, political scientists and other experts believe Barack Obama's campaign played a substantial role in the measure's defeat. Not only did the Obama campaign's formidable advertising blitz and ground game turn Colorado from red to blue--allowing him to win 53 percent of the popular vote--it also brought to the polls a lot of people who had not voted in past elections. They included black and Hispanic voters and college students, populations that have been strongholds of support for affirmative-action preferences when similar measures were voted on in other states.

Kenneth Bickers, a political-science professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told the Chronicle: “This election brought out people who in most typical elections wouldn’t be voting.”

For his part, Connerly told the newspaper: “If the vote was held tomorrow with no Obama money and no Obama on the ballot, we’d win, 60 to 40."

A similar measure easily passed with nearly 58 percent of the vote in Nebraska, which remained solidly red as 57 percent of its voters backed McCain.

Connerly's opponents managed to keep such measures off the ballot in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma, through concerted efforts to block his petition-gathering efforts and to challenge the legitimacy of the petitions he submitted. He told the Chronicle he already has a new effort underway to get such a measure on the Missouri ballot, in 2010. He said he also may give Arizona and Colorado another shot down the road.