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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Build Partnerships to Build Success

Effectiveness. Scale. Sustainability.

2014-11-18
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.

2011-05-19
The Untapped Power of Youth Engagement

We increasingly hear talk these days about youth engagement, a popular youth-development strategy that has been successful in many places – but that remains underused in many others.

2013-04-22
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.

2010-10-19
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.

2006-01-01
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.

2003-07-01
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.

2009-03-02
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?

2002-10-01
Youth Today: A Realist’s View of Child Poverty

By Karen Pittman, November/December 1995

1995-11-01
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:

1998-06-01