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, January 24, 2010

Sandra Day O'Connor Accused of Hedging on Her Grutter Decision

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark 2003 decision upholding race-conscious college admissions as constitutional, the controlling opinion said that the educational benefits of diversity had been proven by research but the majority of justices did not think colleges would need to use racial preferences to achieve diverse enrollments 25 years down the road.

In a new essay discussed here in The Chronicle of Higher Education, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor revisits the majority opinion she wrote in that case, Grutter v. Bollinger, involving the University of Michigan's Law School. What she has to say in her new essay has stirred anger in many of the critics of affirmative action who lamented the Grutter decision. She seems both to characterize the research underlying the majority opinion as "speculative" and to say that the court really did not mean anything with its talk of racial preferences ending a quarter century down the road.

Lawyers on all side of the affirmative action debate stress that it is the court's opinion itself, and not the subsequent musings of a retired justice, that will serve as precedent for the lower courts and likely help shape any later Supreme Court discussions of the issue. Still, the exact meaning of Supreme Court rulings often is hotly debated in subsequent legal battles, as evident when the justices hearing the Grutter case sparred over the exact meaning of the majority opinion that Justice Lewis Powell wrote the last time the high court considered such admissions preferences, in the Bakke decision of 1978. Justice O'Connor's new essay makes the meaning of two elements of her 2003 opinion seem a lot more ambiguous than had widely been assumed.

The Chronicle article, available to nonsubscribers, offers more on her essay and the reactions it has stirred.