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Publications

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Youth Today: Free-Choice Learning

By Karen Pittman, September 2002

2002-09-01
Youth Today: First to Guess, Last to Know

By Karen Pittman, May 2002

There are moments when all your youth work training fails you. I just had one.

My son is one of the most wonderfully bright, witty, head-on-straight people I know. Of my three children, he’s the one I lecture the least. Not surprisingly, he’s the one I talk to the most.

My son is also gay.

2002-05-01
Youth Today: Fighting Child Poverty with Public Leadership

By Karen Pittman, June 2006

The British Government recently made an incredible announcement: It apologized for only managing to reduce child poverty 17 percent over the past five years rather than 25 percent — the progress needed to be on a straight path towards the government’s stated goal of eliminating child poverty by 2020. Officials have promised to redouble their efforts. Sometimes it’s difficult to live on this side of the pond.

2006-06-01
Youth Today: Extending Learning—Will We Ever Get it Right?

By Karen Pittman, October 2007

I had a few hours to read, so I pulled out the folder into which I cram all of the things that catch my eye and might make good material for a column.

Here’s what I read recently:

2007-10-01
Youth Today: Evidence of a Darker Reality -- The Black Youth Project

By Karen Pittman, March 2007

Six in 10 African-American youth believe "it is hard for young black people to get ahead because they face so much discrimination,” according to a University of Chicago (UC) report released in February.

2007-03-01
Youth Today: Evaluation: Risk Or Responsibility?

By Karen Pittman, October 2004

The July/August issue of Youth Today featured not one, but two lengthy stories on evaluation. The first, sharing the front page with a horrific story of fatal neglect within a juvenile justice facility, detailed the fallout after a recent evaluation of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA). The second, a less controversial report on the results of a multifaceted evaluation of YouthBuild, ran inside.

2004-10-01
Youth Today: Early and Sustained Supports Needed

By Karen Pittman, March 2002

Early investments have big payoffs. We know this from the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project in Michigan that is often credited for the expansion of Head Start. We know it from a handful of other longitudinal studies — including a recently released 15-year follow-up study of Chicago preschoolers — that tracked youngsters five to ten years after preschool and found big differences in academic performance and risk behaviors.

2002-03-01
Youth Today: Don't Deify Graduation Rates

By Karen Pittman, October 2006

The buzz about improving the high school graduation rate is becoming a roar. Governor’s children’s cabinets are picking this as the leading indicator result for youth, foundations are re-upping their commitments and youth organizations are recasting their wares to reflect better in this new accountability light.

2006-10-01
Youth Today: Don't Be Left Out Standing in Your Field

By Karen Pittman, November 2003

2003-11-01
Youth Today: Creativity, Sprituality and Youth Work: Claiming the Territory

By Karen Pittman, December 2007

Embedded in the pages of the October Youth Today were two pieces that are worth revisiting so that they can be connected. Consider this a low-budget instant replay with comments.

The first piece was Peter Benson’s column, “Youth Development and the Creative Life,” in which he laments the continued decline of investment in the arts and offers data that suggest that the most common source of “spark” for U.S. teens—“the interest or talent from which we derive energy”—is the creative arts. According to Benson’s research, “music, art, dance and writing are mentioned twice as often as sports” by both boys and girls.

2007-12-12