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Karen Pittman

All blog posts by Karen Pittman. 

Caution: Expanded Learning Time ≠ Expanded Learning

Karen Pittman
Thursday, December 1, 2011

The concept of expanded learning is gaining new traction all over the country - and that, ironically, should worry many of us who have been promoting it for years.

That's because many recent proposals would expand learning time, not necessarily expand learning opportunities. Expanding when and even where learning occurs is unlikely to produce more actual learning until we expand how we define and measure what and how students learn.

The Power of One

Karen Pittman
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We've all experienced compassion fatigue: that feeling of growing numb when we're bombarded with images and statistics about people in need. Research tells us that this is a common human phenomenon. Show people a photo of one girl who needs their help, and they respond with generosity and compassion. Show them the photo of one boy, they respond with equal intensity. Show them both photos and their emotional response drops significantly. Tell them about the plight of thousands of children, and that response plummets even more.

Collective Impact and Opportunity Youth: Movements at the Crossroads

Karen Pittman
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Advocates for young people must often choose which issues and strategies to champion at which time, and find ourselves competing for resources and attention. Rarely do we have the opportunity to combine approaches that could fundamentally change how decision makers think about policy, practice and human potential.

That’s why what’s happening now is so notable.

Richard Murphy’s Impact

Karen Pittman
Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Saturday I joined more than 200 people who gathered in New York City to pay tribute to Richard Murphy – who died on Valentine’s Day, 23 years to the day after New York Mayor David Dinkins signed the agreement that launched the Beacon Schools, which Richard created.

Richard was the quiet fulcrum who leveraged a major change in thinking about the role of local government and public schools in creating hubs for youth development and community engagement.

Alternative ABCs

Karen Pittman
Sunday, July 28, 2013

Course performance.

Three types of data that all schools have in abundance. Three indicators so predictive of school failure that the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University urges that all schools use this ABC data to establish “early warning systems,” which monitor individual student data and trigger mandatory reviews of students who reach red flag levels.  

More Time in School?

Karen Pittman
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The New York Times recently provided an online forum for a debate about increasing the time that students spend in school – and leaders across the youth field responded with strong opinions. One was this letter by Forum CEO Karen Pittman, which focused on rethinking where learning happens, not just when. She urged greater reliance by schools on community partners to deliver services that improve educational outcomes.