Superintendent: Brett Barley
Brett Barley was selected as California Montessori Project's third Superintendent.
Prior to joining the California Montessori Project Brett served as Wonderful College Prep Academy’s (WCPA) first superintendent. WCPA is a network of free public charter schools serving 1,750 Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade students in California’s Central Valley. 90% of WCPA’s students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch and, depending on the school, up to 96% are English learners. In this role Brett supervised principals, oversaw academic programs, managed school operations including a $31 million dollar budget, lead recruitment and retention strategies for students and staff, spearhead state and federal grants and fundraising efforts, engaged with our stakeholders and community, and worked closely with the Board. WCPA high school students perform in the top two of all Kern County high schools for English Language Arts and top five in Math despite having much higher than average poverty and English learner rates. WCPA offers a longer school day and year to help prepare students for college and takes a whole child approach through academic, physical health, and social emotional support. Brett and his team applied for and won a half a million dollar federal grant to open two school based health centers that provide both physical and mental health services, for free, to WCPA students.
From 2016 to 2018, Brett served as the Deputy State Superintendent for Student Achievement at the Nevada Department of Education (NDE). In this role he oversaw the Office of Student and School Support; Office of Standards and Instructional Support; Office of Early Learning and Development; Office of Career Readiness, Adult Education, and Education Options; Office of Assessment, Data, and Accountability Management; and Office of Special Education. He and his team administered and monitored $3.3 billion in annual education funding and $350 million in annual categorical funds on behalf Nevada’s 475,000 students. Brett and his teams supported schools and districts across the state in implementing instructional best practices from early learning to college and career readiness.
Prior to joining the Nevada Department of Education, Brett served as a Vice President with StudentsFirst, a national non-profit organization focused on organizing parents, teachers, and other community members to advocate for great schools for all children. Through this work Brett supervised seventeen teams across the county. He led his teams in the creation and implementation of strategic plans that utilized grassroots membership activities, traditional and social media engagement, and state and local advocacy efforts to pass high impact education legislation and regulations. During his tenure Brett and his teams helped to pass 240 student centered laws across the country including overhauls of state education funding systems like the Local Control Funding Formula in California to provide additional resources for students learning the English language, high poverty students, foster care students, and students with disabilities.
From 2010 to 2012 Brett worked as Director of Education for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), a non-profit business organization representing the interests of more than 400 of Silicon Valley’s largest and most influential technology companies. While at SVLG, Brett was instrumental in the passage of key pieces of legislation like Transitional Kindergarten, the building of a high quality early childhood and parent resource center, and the creation of a clearinghouse for local education related volunteer opportunities.
Before his transition to education policy Brett worked as a Deputy District Attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on juvenile justice and gang related issues. Brett began his career as a fourth grade teacher in San Jose, California at a school where 100% of the students received free or reduced-priced lunch and 70% were English-Language Learners. Each year he taught his students learned, on average, a year and a half of content.
Brett earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of San Diego. Brett comes from a family of public school educators. His mother was an elementary school teacher and literacy coach, his father was a school psychologist, his sister is a special education teacher, and his wife is an elementary school teacher. He has two sons and enjoys camping, hiking, skiing, and sailing with his family.