About TAP Founder Lowell Milken
Lowell MilkenTAP Founder
Inspired by the quality and impact of his own school teachers, Lowell Milken is committed to recognizing the need for highly effective educators and creating stimulating environments in which they can thrive. With more than three decades of research, firsthand visits to thousands of U.S. classrooms, and the creation of major national initiatives in education at the helm of the Milken Family Foundation and the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Lowell's visionary leadership is making a profound difference in revitalizing the American teaching profession and improving the future for America's youth.
Recognizing teaching excellence as a driving force behind student achievement has been a hallmark of Lowell Milken's pioneering accomplishments. He conceived the Milken Educator Awards, first presented in 1987 to recognize the importance of outstanding educators and to encourage talented young people to choose teaching as a career. With a network of more than 2,600 recipients, the Milken Educator Awards is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program, coined "the Oscars of teaching" by Teacher Magazine.
Acknowledging that sufficient numbers of quality teachers would never result from current education practices, Lowell Milken launched TAP in 1999 as the solution to expanding this kind of excellence. Lowell believes that only by providing teachers with powerful opportunities for career advancement, professional growth, teacher accountability, and competitive compensation, can our nation be equipped with the talented human capital necessary to prepare every student for a bright future. TAP in fact transforms schools into collaborative learning environments to ensure that every student is afforded a quality educational opportunity. Now impacting more than 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students, TAP embodies Lowell Milken's goal for a proven system to raise student achievement levels across all socioeconomic areas.
The Lowell Milken TAP Founder's Award recognizes TAP schools for their exceptional commitment and leadership in implementing the system to the highest standards of excellence. Award recipients are models for all other TAP schools for these students, faculty and administrators are the trailblazers who bring true promise that we can match every student with an outstanding teacher every day, every year.
Mick Zais, South Carolina Superintendent of Education
"If we are going to ensure that we have confident, capable and creative teachers in our classrooms, we have to find ways to recognize and reward outstanding performance. TAP is one way to do that."