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Marsha Modeste

Dr. Marsha E. Modeste

Associate Professor of Education (EDLDR)

Phone: 814-863-3775

302D Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Education Policy Studies


  • Educational Leadership Program
  • Comparative and International Education


Marsha E. Modeste is an Associate Professor of Education (Educational Leadership) in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the College of Education at Penn State. Dr. Modeste earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Dr. Modeste’s research focuses on school leadership across three areas: (1) district governance, specifically urban districts under system-wide reform, (2) the policy and cultural environment that informs school leadership; and (3) distributed leadership. Dr. Modeste’s dissertation research focused on urban school principals in New York City. She examined how school leaders interpreted and implemented in their schools the reform policies that came from the school system’s central office. 


Her work with the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) has taken her to Copenhagen, Denmark, where she has led the expansion and implementation of CALL, an online, formative assessment of distributed leadership practices, in schools and districts (municipalities) under reform. A former middle school teacher and Central office program director, her work focuses on organizational change in urban school districts using mayoral control and how system-wide school reform impacts urban school leadership.

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