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Lowell Milken Honored with James Bryant Conant Award

The award, which Milken accepted at the 2017 National Forum on Education Policy, recognizes outstanding individual contributions to American education.

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Congratulations to our chairman and co-founder Lowell Milken, recently named the recipient of this year's James Bryant Conant Award, one of education's most prestigious honors. The Conant Award, named after the co-founder of Education Commission of the States (ECS) and former president of Harvard University, recognizes outstanding individual contributions to American education. ECS presented Lowell Milken with the award on June 29, during its 2017 National Forum on Education Policy in San Diego.

"Lowell Milken's efforts in education span across many areas of education practice, including policy, research, curriculum, professional development and student success," says ECS President Jeremy Anderson. "Lowell's inclusive approach to providing opportunities for educators, students and communities to increase innovation in and awareness of the importance of a well-rounded and comprehensive education experience demonstrates his commitment to supporting education from beginning to end."

As former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon says, "When the history of education for the latter 20th and early 21st centuries is written, it will undoubtedly look upon the efforts of Lowell Milken—especially in his groundbreaking successes with the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement—as seminal in addressing the core issues of high quality teaching and learning."

Lowell's reputation as a visionary leader of education reform has been honed by more than three decades of education research, policy and practices, complemented by firsthand visits to thousands of classrooms and the creation of major national initiatives:

  • Lowell developed the Milken Educator Awards, the preeminent teacher award in the U.S., to recognize the importance of outstanding educators and to encourage talented young people to choose teaching as a profession. More than 2,700 outstanding teachers and principals have received the Award in its 30-year history.
  • With the Milken Educator Awards dedicated to recognizing excellence among the few, Lowell determined to also generate excellence among the many, as embodied by TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a research-based and proven whole school reform model. 
  • Demand for TAP compelled Lowell to establish the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) in 2005, committed to ensuring a highly skilled, strongly motivated and competitively compensated teacher for every classroom in America. NIET, including TAP, impacts more than 200,000 educators and 2.5 million students around the country every day.
  • The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, another transformative educational organization, encourages student-driven project-based learning to discover, develop and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive difference on the course of history. LMC has a global footprint, impacting more than 1.3 million students across all 50 U.S. states and around the world.
  • In 2011, UCLA School of Law established the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy (LMI) to help ensure that UCLA law students are prepared to assume leadership roles in the practice of law as well as in business, government and philanthropy.
  • At Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT) honors the legacy of Leah Hoffmitz Milken, a letterform expert and professor known for unique logotypes and typefaces, and is dedicated to setting the global standard of excellence in typography and visual communication.

"Education is not only the most fundamental of life's opportunities, it is the foundation of our strength as a nation and our security as a democracy," says Lowell. "This is why it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure a high-quality educational experience for every young person. Being associated with the legacy of James Bryant Conant and the achievement of others who have changed the course of American education is a great honor."

In receiving the James Bryant Conant Award, Lowell Milken joins the ranks of education greats such as Thurgood Marshall (2004), Linda Darling-Hammond (2010), Lamar Alexander (1988) and Terrel Bell (1985).

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Sabrina Skacan
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