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Former Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty to Deliver Annual MLK Address Jan. 16

1/9/2012 --

Nationally recognized leader in education reform presents "An Afternoon with Adrian Fenty" at Ross.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Adrian Fenty, former mayor of Washington, D.C., will deliver the Ross School of Business' annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday address on Monday, Jan. 16, at 1:30 p.m. in Blau Auditorium.

During his tenure as the fifth mayor of the nation's capital city, Fenty led significant reforms in the education system and completed a groundbreaking school modernization project. He also achieved record increases in public safety and drove transformational housing and healthcare initiatives. The Washington Post credited Fenty with making Washington, D.C., "a better place to live and to work."

As for urban education reform, Fenty helped change the public school governance structure, placing the city's school chief as a direct report to the mayor. The change allowed him to institute unprecedented changes and negotiate a breakthrough collective bargaining agreement that leads the nation by establishing performance-based teacher evaluations. Following the reforms, student test scores and graduation rates have risen steadily, while achievement gaps at both the elementary and secondary levels have narrowed. In 2010 enrollment in District of Columbia public schools increased for the first time in 39 years.

Economic development was a high priority in the Fenty administration. As mayor, he initiated several transformative projects and led the city to maintain a triple-A bond rating. As part of a five-year, $1.7 billion school modernization plan, the Fenty administration completed full renovations of 12 schools, launched an additional seven school modernization projects, and cleared a backlog of more than 62,000 work orders.

Fenty also is recognized for expanding community policing strategies in Washington, D.C., increasing the number of officers on regular foot patrol from almost zero to 300. In 2009 homicides declined 23 percent, falling two times more than the national decline. The homicide closure rate increased from 65 percent to 80 percent.

In addition, Fenty expanded healthcare coverage for the uninsured and launched the Housing First program, which has become a national model. In its first two years, the program provided permanent supportive housing for more than 1,000 homeless households.

Since leaving office, Fenty has launched a consulting practice to provide strategic advice and business development solutions to an array of clients. He speaks extensively on education reform and the value of using a private-sector approach to running a government. He is a distinguished visiting professor of politics at his alma mater, Oberlin College. In addition, Fenty is active in a number of philanthropic endeavors, sitting on the boards of Fight for Children, the Junior Tennis Champions Center, and the Advocacy and Public Affairs Committee of the United States Tennis Association.

The Ross School's annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday address begins at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16. The presentation is offered as part of the school's William K. McInally Memorial Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu