Manny Barbara serves as Vice President, Advocacy and Thought Leadership, for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. He previously served for ten years as Superintendent of the Oak Grove School District. Under his tenure and focus on equity, student performance increased for all District student subgroups, including at grade 8 algebra and geometry. As superintendent, Mr. Barbara was an acknowledged leader in system equity work. He has presented at numerous conferences, served on the state superintendent’s P16 Council on closing the achievement gap, and authored “Leading the Equity Agenda” for ACSA’s Leadership journal.
At the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, he has provided leadership in developing the student intervention programs known as Elevate (Math) and Elevate (Science). Mr. Barbara currently coordinates the East Side Alliance, a consortium of eight districts consisting of the East Side Union High School Districts and the seven elementary partner districts. He has led efforts to achieve equitable course placement for all students in critical math gateway courses in 13 districts, and led change efforts to increase student completion of the UC/CSU A-G requirements in eight other districts.
Mr. Barbara is acknowledged as a leader in math placement work in the civil rights report Held Back: Addressing Misplacement of 9th Grade Students in Bay Area School Math Classes.
He serves as an adjunct professor in the San Jose State Educational Leadership program and the Santa Clara County Leadership in Educational Leadership Program (LEAP).
Mr. Barbara has received the Hank Hutchins Award from the Santa Clara County of School Black Educators; was selected four times as the Administrator of the Year by ACSA Region 8; selected as the Educator of the Year by 100 Black Men of Santa Clara County; awarded the Michael Goodman Lifetime Achievement award by the Santa Clara Association of School Psychologists, and also received the ACSA State Robert E. Kelley award. He has a Masters in Applied Psychology from San Jose State and is an accomplished facilitator.
He enjoys playing tennis, golf, reading, and is an avid sports fan. He is married with four children, including three sons who are serving in the public schools (two teachers and a principal), and 11 wonderful grandchildren.