Phillip Caldwell, II

A photo of Phillip Caldwell, II.

Assistant Professor

Leadership and Counseling

304G John W. Porter Building


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MA, Educational Administration, Emphasis in Education Leadership, Poly & Analysis, University of Missouri-Saint Louis
  • BS, Mathematics Education, Florida A&M University


Phillip Caldwell, II, Ph.D. Assistant professor within the COE's Department of Leadership and Counseling at EMU and I hail from Detroit, Michigan. In the Fall of 2020, he will begin implementing his research agenda, while completing a 2-year intensive training program focused on data science, research methods, education policy, and leadership. The long-term career goal is to help identify significant key learning opportunities for
educational leaders over time with respect to building and retaining their knowledge, skills and dispositions regarding resource allocation as a key lever for achieving equitable student outcomes. Dr. Caldwell's long-term career goal is to become a national leader in the design, implementation, evaluation, and training of educational leaders through evidenced based educational leader interventions (broadly defined as those people that oversee and make decisions regarding staff, stuff, or space) to reduce educational inequities:

  • Influencing individuals' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and skills;
  • Increasing institutional evidenced-based interventions; and
  • Creating supportive environments, policies and resources.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Caldwell, P., Pearson, A., & Smart R. (2020) Addressing disproportionate discipline: Building equity by understanding the need for change. Principal Leadership. March ed.

Caldwell, II, P & Smart, R. (Fall 2018). Education Management Companies versus Traditional Schools: How do They Compare in Michigan? Journal of the Effective Schools Project.


  • EDLD 612: Economics of Public Education
  • EDLD 517: Leadership for School Improvement
  • EDLD 710: Leadership Theory
  • EDLD 740 Advanced Leadership Theory

Research Interests

  • School funding, funding fairness and equity, systemic racism associated with public school funding, applications of critical race theory, qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methodologies

Current Research

  • Dr. Caldwell was selected as the 2020-21 John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education. The Porter Chair is designed to actively expand the University's role in urban school districts in Michigan, with an emphasis on school-community partnerships.

    Project title: Investigating the Persistence of Racism as it Relates to Michigan K12 Public School Funding Policy, Practice, and Educational Disparity.

    The project for the FY21 Porter Chair will examine the persistence of racism specifically as it relates to public school funding policy, practice and educational disparities within Michigan.

    The examination will be performed with a research design consisting of three distinct, yet interrelated, areas of inquiry: (i) the three strands of fairness (Baker, Farrie, & Sciarra, 2018), (ii) the insightful lens of critical race theory (DeCuir & Dixson, 2004; Harris, 1993; Ladson-Billings, 2009; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995), and (iii) an explanatory sequential mixed method design (Creamer, 2018; Guetterman, Fetters, & Creswell, 2015). The mixed-method design involves the intentional collection of both quantitative and qualitative data and combines the strengths of each to explain the research questions (National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2018). This type of design is adopted when the "quantitative approach or the qualitative approach, by itself, is inadequate to develop multiple perspectives and a complete understanding of a research question" (National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2018, p. 5). The research aim will be addressed in a multi-phased approach to explain the ways in persistence of racism related to public school funding policy, practice and educational disparities within Michigan schools. This study will investigate public school funding fairness within and across Michigan school districts.

    Research Aim 1: Demonstrate ways to examine how district administrators' conceptions of fairness and equity relate to their school/district finance system that ensures equal educational opportunity and accounting for additional needs generated by student type.

    Research Aim 2: Identification of logic models for selecting, designing, and implementing evidence-based school leadership interventions, specific to resource allocation in Michigan public schools, particularly those serving underrepresented groups of students.