Petition Urges State Rejection Of Testani As Acting School Chief

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.



  1. This petition with a few hundred signatures is a good try,but the state will see it as the board voted 5-3 in favor of Testani.I don’t think the state will realize that the 5 who voted in favor were told to do so by Joe& Mario.This is how it’s done in Bpt.People get put in key positions because they do what they are told,qualifications don’t matter.

    1. Commissioner Wentzell has to grant Mike Testani a waiver because of his lack of an 093 Superintendent Certification. He cannot be appointed without that waiver.

      She has the authority to deny the waiver which would make his narrowly approved appointment by John Weldon, Jessica Martinez, Hernan Illingworth, Sybll Allen and Chris Taylor mute.

  2. Please read the contents of this factual petition. Only Bridgeport residents should sign the petition so that the petition is not inflated with signatures from out-of-town and out-of- state signers.

    If you decide to sign on, please post a comment as to why you have decided to sign onto our petition. Every comment generates an email directly to Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell. Former Republican Board of Ed Chair Jim Carbone even signed it!

    After conducting some research over the last 40 years, Mike Testani is the most unqualified “Interim Superintendent ” or permanent Superintendent appointed by the Board of Education. Testani is the only Superintendent that was appointed that did not receive a unanimous vote in the last 40 years. He had to receive a minimum of 5 votes and that is all he received.

    Last 40 years:

    Superintendent Connelly, Acting Dan Shamus, Superintendent Dr. Salcedo, Acting Dr. Tolbert, Superintendent Dr. Ramos, Acting Paul Vallas, Acting Fran Rabinowitz, Acting Dr. Johnson, Superintendent Dr. Johnson.

    You know what they all have in common? They all possessed an 093 Superintendent Certification except Paul Vallas had an out-of- state equivalent, they all served as high-level administrators, and they were all appointed unanimously. As you can see, many possessed Doctorates.

    Being appointed by a slim 5 votes with Chris Taylor serving as the 5th vote is very concerning. Should Chris Taylor be found to be serving on the Bridgeport Board of Education illegally we believe Mike Testani’s appointment would be null and void.

    1. Parents of students at the Interdistrict schools such as: Fairchild-Wheeler, Aquaculture, Discovery who do not live in Bridgeport should be encouraged to sign this petition. They have as much at stake at any other parent whose child is in a school run by BPS.
      Also, employees of BPS who live outside Bridgeport should also sign. They are directly affected by the choice of an Acting/Interim Superintendent.
      The connection to BPS should be noted along with signature and address.

      1. We were concerned that their signatures would appear as suburban residents we were trying to utilize to inflate the number of signatures.

        We wanted the petition to be pure and authentic.

  3. The Daughter of Frankenstein, is a ( Flucking Moron)!!!
    To think that the state would supersede a 5-3 vote by the BBOE is foolishness and total stupidity!
    Ms. Frankenstein needs to be institutionalize and fast!!!

    1. So your lack of intelligence is shining brighter than ever. It’s not a petition for the state to supersede a 5-3 vote by the BBOE. It’s a petition for the state to NOT issue a waiver for an unqualified person . If you read the actual article rather than attack Maria, you would maybe find something else to be a fool about. My guess, you’re a parent or staff member that really doesn’t like Maria and has so many failed attempts to get under her skin.

  4. Jim lives in Black Roxk. He is a senior citizen who is not a BPS parent.

    We had a a tiff over Chris Taylor and he is still mad at me. Time heals all. Let him vent.

    I honestly love Jim. I think he has a sharp wit and is the funniest poster on OIB.

    JIim, I am sorry I called you a moron. I was out of line and I apologize for it. Please forgive me. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXO

  5. I would like to thank Senator Moore, former Senator Ed Gomes. former Republicam BOE Chair Jim Carbone, former WFP BOE Chair Sauda Barake, former BOE member Ben Walker, and City Council member Karen Jackson for signing onto the petition.

    Let’s keep this moving!

    As of today, Commissioner Wentzell is the Interim- Commissioner of Education.

    Please share this petition with your friends and family!

    Thank you!

    1. Powerful petition comment posted by former school board member Ben Walker.

      “I am a former member of the Bridgeport Board of Education. Mr. Testani appeared numerous times before my committees and at numerous meetings of the Board. In my capacity as a BOE member, I found Mr. Testani to be lacking in preparation, disingenuous, often times flippant, and even dishonest in his presentations to the Board. He often spread rumors about his peers and other members of the Board. He would frequently tell one member one thing and another member something completely different. Consequently, I never take Mr. Testani at his word. In my opinion, Mr. Testani is woefully unprepared and unsuited for such a leadership position as Acting Superintendent. I would urge anyone dealing with Mr. Testani to independently verify everything he has to say before acting on his word.”

  6. I have been surprised by the number of people who have stated that anyone in CT should be able to be able to sign the petition because the education of Bridgeport’s children is of importance to other communities, business, and more

    I am going to ask the administrator to revise the language on the petition to allow all CT residents to sign on.

    1. Maria,
      Not only is the education of Bridgeport’s children important to other communities, we are ONE state (and a small one at that),
      The taxpayers in other communities pay 74% of the cost of educating BPS students and want good leadership using those funds, NOT Ganim/Testa political hacks who want to raid the candy jar.


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