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, January 29, 2009

Nebraska Ban on Affirmative-Action Preferences Upheld in State Court

A state court has upheld Nebraska's new ban on the use of affirmative-action preferences by public colleges and other state agencies.

As reported on The Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, Judge Karen Flowers of Lancaster County court ruled against Nebraskans United, a group that led opposition to the measure, in a lawsuit alleging improprieties in how signatures were gathered to get it on the ballot. She held that, contrary to Nebraskans United’s claims, “the facts do not support a finding that there was any pervasive pattern and practice of fraud, misinterpretation, or deception” in the petition-gathering process.

The Nebraska measure was approved by 58 percent of the state's voters in the November election.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Many Qualified Low-Income Students Don't Apply to Selective Colleges, Study Finds

Thousands of students from low-income families fail every year to apply to selective colleges that would accept them and likely offer them aid, according to the results of a study described recently in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The researchers behind the study--Caroline M. Hoxby, a professor of economics at Stanford University, and Christopher N. Avery, a professor of public policy at Harvard University--based their analysis on five years of data on SAT-takers, as well other information that enabled them to roughly ascertain students' incomes. In one typical year, they found, about 21,000 students from low-income families achieved at high enough levels to gain admission to a college classified as selective, but fewer than 40 percent applied to one.

The researchers are tentatively pointing a finger at geography as one of the major forces holding students back. They have found indications that the high-achieving, low-income students least likely to apply to selective colleges are those living in small towns and rural areas where their families, teachers, and counselors are less likely to have easy access to information about selective colleges.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Colleges Accused of Shirking Obligation to Seek Alternatives to Affirmative Action

An article slated for publication in the Catholic University Law Review argues that many colleges have largely disregarded the U.S. Supreme Court’s admonition to seriously consider other options before using race-conscious admissions policies.

As summarized in a posting on the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, the article notes that the majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, involving the University of Michigan’s law school, held that colleges must first give “serious, good-faith consideration” to “workable, race-neutral” alternatives to achieving diversity if their race-conscious admissions policies are to be considered narrowly tailored to promoting a compelling government interest.

But colleges have received little or no guidance from the courts or federal government on how to meet such a requirement, and as a result they “appear to be floundering,” the article says.

The authors are George R. LaNoue, a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and Kenneth L. Marcus, a visiting professor at the City University of New York’s Baruch College who served as staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2004 until this year and as a top lawyer in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights before that. —Peter Schmidt