Education reform conference set for Vail |

Education reform conference set for Vail

Scott N. Miller
Vail Daily/Bret HartmanEducators from around the country will visit local classrooms in November as part of the Milken Family Foundation's annual conference about the Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP. Eagle County is the only school district in the country in which all schools participate in TAP.

VAIL – The group responsible for Eagle County’s education reform program will hold its national conference in Vail this year.The Milken Family Foundation, which invented the Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP, will hold its annual conference on the program in Vail, Nov. 11 to 14. The conference will include seminars and similar events, but will also include school visits because the entire Eagle County School District is now working with TAP.Last year’s conference was held in Charleston, S.C. near one school that is using TAP. With all of the local district now using TAP, a visit to Vail was a unique opportunity, foundation Vice President and Survey Director Tamara Schiff said.”We want to go where the program is doing well, and this is a great opportunity,” Schiff said. “Plus, it’s Vail.”

Eagle County is the only district in the country that has put TAP to work in all its schools. The program combines on-the-job training with “mentor” and “master” teachers and a pay-for-performance portion tied to student achievement. The program has been met with skepticism by many teachers, but the district is pressing on, citing the ultimate need to improve student achievement.The conference will bring between 300 and 350 people to Vail, including school administrators, teachers, school board members and others.Local officials don’t know much except the foundation is holding its annual conference in the district’s back yard.”We’re very excited about it,” district information officer Pam Holmes Boyd said. “We’re excited to have the Milken people in Vail, and we’re excited to have them in our classrooms. It’s a great opportunity to have access to those resources.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or

Vail Daily, Vail ColoradoAbout the Milken Family FoundationFocus: Medical and educational researchFounded in: 1982

Founded by: Brothers Lowell and Michael MilkenMajor projects: • The foundation annually awards $2.5 million to 100 of the nation’s top teachers.• The Milken Festival for Youth every year involves students in community service projects across the country.

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