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, September 22, 2009

Plaintiffs in Lawsuit Against U. of Texas Take Their Case to the Fifth Circuit

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the revival of race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin have taken their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

A terse formal notice of appeal filed in the Fifth Circuit Court this month says simply that the two plaintiffs--white students that the university had rejected--are appealing the August 17 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks to throw out their challenge to the university's admissions policy. Lawyers for the two students are expected to file briefs giving their reasoning for the appeal in the coming weeks.

As discussed in greater depth in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Judge Sparks held in his August 17 ruling that he was dismissing the lawsuit because the university's race-conscious policy was narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest, and therefore constitutional. The lawsuit argues that the university should not be allowed to return to considering applicants' race because it already has in place a race-neutral means of achieving diversity on campus, a requirement under state law that it admit any Texas student in the top 10 percent of his or her high school class.

Lawyers for the students had been characterizing Judge Sparks as unfriendly to their side since May of 2008, when he refused to order the university to re-evaluate the two students' application in a race-neutral manner based on his belief that they had little chance of prevailing. The Fifth Circuit appeals court, by contrast, in 1996 issued one of the harshest judicial denunciations of race-conscious admissions produced by a federal court so far, its Hopwood decision striking down race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas law school with language repudiating the idea that such admissions were constitutionally justified by the diversity they produced. As recounted in detail in Color and Money, Texas lawmakers adopted the 10-percent law in response to the Hopwood ruling, which was subsequently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 Grutter decision upholding the diversity rationale for such policies (but holding that race-neutral alternatives must be considered.)

The so-called "Texas Ten Percent Law" was watered down somewhat in May, when state lawmakers voted to cap the number of students automatically admitted to UT-Austin under it at 75 percent of each entering freshman class. If the challenge to race-conscious admissions prevails, state lawmakers will likely come under renewed pressure to preserve the 10-percent law. That measure is widely supported by many black, Hispanic, and rural legislators, but it is strongly opposed by many representatives of wealthy suburbs where competition from others from privileged backgrounds makes it harder for students to rank in the top tenth of their classes.