By a 5-3 vote Michael Testani, head of Adult Education, was selected by the school board to lead the district for the next year until a longer-term superintendent is installed. It’s gotten some pushback from board member Maria Pereira as well as an online petition urging outgoing Connecticut Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell to reject his appointment based on his credentials. Her replacement was announced on Friday.
From the petition:
With an urban population of 20,400 students, of which 88% are minorities, Bridgeport Public Schools is the largest school district in Connecticut. The District is also the most underfunded in Connecticut dealing with four years of significant underfunding under the leadership of Mayor Joseph Ganim. The Bridgeport Public Schools has made 40 million dollars in devastating cuts over the last three years and is currently faced with another 11.5 million dollar cuts in the 2019-20 school year. It is for all the reasons above that all of our 20,400 students deserve a “HIGHLY QUALIFIED” Acting Superintendent.
On Monday, June 24, 2019, the Bridgeport Board of Education narrowly voted (5-3 with one abstention) to appoint Michael Testani as the Interim Superintendent for the 2019-2020 school year. Although there were 3 “HIGHLY QUALIFIED” candidates who possessed an 093 Superintendent’s certification, Doctorates, extensive urban school experience as Associate/Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent with one candidate serving as Deputy Secretary of Education of the United States under President Obama, Michael Testani was narrowly appointed without having any of the qualifications listed above.
Michael Testani has never served as a K-12 school teacher, Principal, Assistant Superintendent or Superintendent. He does not possess a Doctorate or an 093 Superintendent certification. Out of the five final candidates, he was the fourth least qualified. Michael Testani will serve as the least qualified Acting/Permanent Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in the last forty years.
We are urging Bridgeport, CT residents to sign this petition requesting Commissioner Wentzell to reject a requested waiver to allow Michael Testani to serve as the Acting Superintendent of the largest school district in Connecticut based on the lack of qualifications.