Angus McLeod IV

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Ph.D. CandidateThomas D. Driscoll Fellow, Graduate School of Education


B.A., University of Texas at Austin (2013)

Research Interests

My primary research interest is the historical development of public, K-12 education finance policy in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present.  My dissertation investigates the history of Texas' school finance policy from the Republic of Texas to the present to illustrate how school finance serves as a site of contestation between different racial, socioeconomic, geographic, and political constituencies.  I am particularly interested in how the creation of school systems has altered and expanded state capacities over time and how legal changes to taxation and expenditure change the political and economic balance of power in communities.

Public schools are historical institutions and the state systems that have plenary authority over local districts are an understudied aspect of U.S. educational history.  School finance studies are currently the preserve of economists and lawyers, but this project will attempt to bring historical approaches to the question of political development, educational equity, and fiscal decision-making through an in-depth case study of an individual state school system.

Prior to this project, I studied American philanthropy, education in the South, segregation, and African American schooling.

Before coming to Penn, I was a high school social studies teacher.  As a result, I care deeply about the craft of teaching.  I hold a teaching certificate from Penn's Center for Teaching and Learning and in 2019 I participated in the National Humanities Center's Graduate Student Summer Residency program entitled "Objects and Places in an Inquiry-Based Classroom."


Courses Taught

HIST 108: American Origins (T.A., Spring 2020)

EDUC 668: Master's Seminar in Education, Culture, and Society (T.A., Fall 2018-Spring 2019)

TC 125K: Plan II/KIPP Partnership--University of Texas at Austin (T.A., Fall 2011-Spring 2013)


Graduate School of Education-Education, Culture, and Society Program


Dissertation Committee:

Jonathan Zimmerman, GSE (Advisor)

Mia Bay, History (Advisor)

Sarah Gronningsater, History

CV (file)