Parents and educators are paying close attention to the activities of the Lowell Milken Family Foundation whose programs and grants are having a widespread positive impact on American education. The Foundation supports diverse projects which aim to cultivate the potential of American students by providing them with the knowledge, skills and experiences which will prepare them to live rewarding and productive lives and contribute to the larger society.
One of Lowell Milken Family Foundation's newest and most innovative projects is the TAP Program. TAP --System for Teacher and Student
Advancement engages educators on all rungs of an educational institution's
ladder, from school administrators to classroom teachers, who work together to
devise strategies which will improve the school. The cornerstone of the TAP
system is the acknowledgement that America's future is rooted in the ability to
successfully educate the next generation. Toward this end TAP commits resources
to finding solutions which will make positive changes in America's classrooms.
Lowell Milken founder of TAP believes that creating a positive
learning environment for both students and teachers will draw talented teachers
into the profession and enable students to become successful learners. In
addition to the commitment to bring talented teachers into the nation's schools
TAP aims to strengthen teacher's skills and develop incentives to retain
seasoned, talented teachers in the teaching profession. TAP is supervised by
the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), a nationally
recognized teacher support organization.
The TAP program is based on empirical research which identifies some key reasons that some teachers are not able to experience success in the classroom as well as some of the reasons that talented teachers leave the profession. Towards this challenge TAP is creating attractive options, including career advancements, peer mentoring and staff support which will address the core frustrations of America's educators.
In practice, this involves adjusting schedules to allow for peer assistance, teacher planning sessions and increased responsibilities and compensation. The success of the program is measured by the Teaching Skills, Knowledge and Responsibility Standards evaluation which is administered to students in participating schools to evaluate positive changes in a school.