Karen Pittman's Youth Today Columns
Karen Pittman, executive director of the Forum, used to regularly write a column for Youth Today, the newspaper on youth work. This archive includes articles from her entire stint writing for Youth Today and covers a variety of topics related to children and youth.
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|The Harm of Zero Tolerance Gone Wild||
If schools in your community practice zero tolerance policies, you might want to see why a youth suicide compelled the Forum’s Karen Pittman and Patrick Boyle to blog about the potential harm of such policies. Their message: Forcing a kid to leave a school means a lot more than changing the location of the math class.
|Youth Today: 'Hope Springs Eternal,' according to Gallup Poll||
It is one thing for the poet Alexander Pope to suggest that “hope springs eternal in the human breast.” It is another for the leading pollsters to prove it.
In this article, Pittman looks at the recent results of the Gallup Student Poll.
|Youth Today: 2006: The Year Quality May Finally Get Counted||
By Karen Pittman, January 2006
We all believe that quality counts. Even if Woody Allen is correct in his assertion that “80 percent of success is showing up,” that means that 20 percent of the success of organized efforts to engage young people in school and in after-school programs can be attributed to what happens after they get there.
|Youth Today: 21st Century Skills and Indicators||
By Karen Pittman, July 2003
We're getting close.
On June 5, 50 hand-picked researchers, practitioners and policy experts from academia and youth development gathered in Washington at the behest of the U.S. Department of Education to prioritize youth performance indicators used to assess after-school programs the department funds. The stakes were high. The discussions were surprisingly good.
|Youth Today: a "5 Star" President Who Happens to be Bi-Racial||
On January 20, I joined millions of Americans and millions more around the world to watch the inauguration of our 44th president. Bad knees kept me out of the crowd, but I dutifully taped the day for family and friends who went out to be counted. I beamed at the image of the soon-to-be president, head back, eyes closed, breathing in the wonderful music played by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.
|Youth Today: A Delicate Balance||
By Karen Pittman, October 2002
There is a new mantra on Capitol Hill: scientifically-based research. The term is used more than 100 times in the No Child Left Behind legislation. But...
What exactly is scientifically-based research? Is there enough of it available to really guide policy development and implementation?
|Youth Today: A Realist’s View of Child Poverty||
By Karen Pittman, November/December 1995
|Youth Today: A Strategic Success||
By Karen Pittman, June 1998
Seventy-eight: That will be the number of Beacon Schools in New York City once the third and largest class of Beacons opens this year. The number is impressive, suggesting a level of scale in publicly funded youth programs rarely reached in U.S. cities. The Beacons are one of the field’s success stories of the 90s.
But the real story is in the strategy that led to this success, a strategy that opted to promote the goals and principles of youth development, and the organizations and individuals that believe in them. Why has it worked? Ten reasons:
|Youth Today: Affordable, Accessible, Appropriate||
By Karen Pittman, April 1999
Reduced Crime. Averted pregnancies. Improved grades. Reassured parents. Engaged youth. That’s five good reasons to support after-school programming for children and youth. We do not need more research to document what every parent knows: Our youth need caring people to talk to, safe places to go, healthy possibilities to explore. To the extent that we aggressively provide them with these basic supports, we increase the chances that youth stay on the paths that we lay out for them. To the extent that we leave these things to chance, or put the full burden for arranging and paying for these supports on parents, we increase the chances that youth problems will increase and youth preparation will suffer.
|Youth Today: Aging Out or Aging In?||
By Karen Pittman, January/February 1996