At the National Forum on Education Policy at the Hotel Del Coronado on June 29th, 2017, the Education Commission of the States (ECS) honored Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-founder Lowell Milken as the 2017 recipient of the 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. Montana Governor and ECS Chairman Steve Bullock presented Lowell Milken with the award during the 2017 National Forum on Education Policy, taking place in San Diego.
"It is an honor to have the work I’ve been engaged in over the past 30 years be recognized and associated with the contributions of the ECS founder, for while James Bryant Conant was a visionary educator, he was a committed reformer as well," said Milken.
"Lowell Milken's efforts in education span across many areas of education practice, including policy, research, curriculum, professional development and student success," said Jeremy Anderson, president of Education Commission of the States. "Milken'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."
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, all of which are focused around the importance of educators.
"Human capital is the beating heart of education," said Milken. "And developing strong human capital is not only the goal of education, it is the means of achieving that goal. For without vibrant, engaged, excellent educators, there is little chance of producing students with the same qualities."
As former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon said, "When the history of education for the latter twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is written, it will undoubtedly look upon the efforts of Lowell Milken, especially in his ground-breaking successes with TAP, as seminal in addressing the core issues of high quality teaching and learning."
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). Education Commission of the States awarded Lowell Milken with the 2017 James Bryant Conant Award for his continuous philanthropic work and personal dedication to creating opportunities to support success and innovation across the many areas of education practice.