The Lowell Milken TAP Founder's Award is a great honor for a TAP school. Started in 2008, it is awarded each year to a school demonstrating exceptional implementation of TAPô: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. Created by TAP Founder Lowell Milken and funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, the Award comes with a $50,000 cash prize for the school to use to help achieve its TAPô goals in subsequent school years.
Lowell Milken TAP Founder's Award recipients are selected without their knowledge by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. Criteria, based on a school's participation in the system for at least three years, include distinction in the following areas:
- Full and proficient implementation of all four TAP elements;
- Achievement according to state or federal measures; and
- Notable recognition as a center and resource of best practices.
The Lowell Milken TAP Founder's Award is presented at the annual National TAP Conference before hundreds of TAP participants from across the country, as well as other influential educators and leaders who are helping to shape the future of education.
The Lowell Milken TAP Founder's Award yields benefits long after the announcement, seeking to strengthen the individual school and support its teachers. Among these additional benefits are prominent public recognition; opportunities to substantively interact on issues of teacher quality and student learning with leaders from government, business and academia; and stipends for attendance at conferences.
Frank Patranella, Master Teacher, Audelia Creek Elementary School, Dallas, Texas
" . . . After explaining TAP to those possibly interested in coming to our school, they would say things like, 'When can I start?í . . . 'Oh, I have options!' As a career teacher I can actually move up and do other things."