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The Manhattan Institute Honors outstanding urban leaders who have improved the quality of life in their cities with its annual Urban Innovator Award.

Gina M. Raimondo
Michelle Rhee
Renee Glover
Mitch Daniels
Jeb Bush
Paul Vallas
Raymond Kelly
Manuel Diaz
Martin O'Malley
Anthony Williams
Norm Coleman
Jerry Brown
Richard Daley


Urban Innovator Award Winner

 Michelle Rhee.2010
Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

On December 15, 2010, The Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership selected Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools and Founder and CEO of Students First, as its 2010 Urban Innovator Award winner. Rhee's work in linking teacher tenure to student learning has blazed a new path for local school leaders.

Rhee served as Chancellor of the D.C. public schools from 2007 to 2010. Under her leadership of the 123 schools, enrollment and graduation rates rose and the worst performing district in the country became the only major city system to see double-digit improvement on state reading and math tests for seventh, eighth, and tenth grades over three years.

"We’ve honored Michelle Rhee not just for her success in improving public schools in the District of Columbia but the many risks she took in order to implement path-blazing innovations,” said Howard Husock, vice-president of policy research at the Manhattan Institute. "We were especially impressed by the ground-breaking teachers contract which linked job security and salary increases to classroom performance, not the number of years on the job.”

Rhee is the Founder and CEO of Students First, a new organization whose mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform across the country.







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