BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Leaders from Whale Branch Middle School in Beaufort were surprised Friday when Lowell Milken, founder of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, presented their school with the prestigious TAP Founder's Award, which includes a $50,000 prize, in front of more than 1,000 educators and policy leaders at the 12th National TAP Conference: Building a System of Teacher Leaders.
"With TAP as their guide, educators at Whale Branch Middle School have created a collaborative learning environment where faculty and students continually strive to improve," said Lowell Milken according to a press release. "I commend Principal Hunt and his leadership team for their commitment to maximizing TAP's potential."
The TAP Founder's Award is presented annually to one school for their implementation of TAP's comprehensive system of career advancement, ongoing job-embedded professional development through weekly collaborative "cluster" meetings, rigorous teacher evaluation and accountability, and performance-based compensation.
"TAP gives teachers an opportunity to not only reflect on what they're doing, but reflect on how it's affecting the kids they have in their room," said TAP Master Teacher Peter Burvenich according to a press release..
"Our school has gone from an 'at-risk' absolute rating to an 'average' absolute rating," said Hunt in a press release, "which is astronomical in terms of the amount of change, growth, and student achievement that we've seen. I think the TAP system is probably the best investment of time that an educational system can adopt."