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Blogs by Forum staff and by leaders around the country about getting young people ready for college, work and life.

The Right Kind of Opportunity for Youth

Karen Pittman
Friday, January 31, 2014

What happens when you give youth an opportunity? It all depends on the kind of opportunity. 

There are programs all over the country focused on helping disconnected youth get real-life training on the job, in addition to critical soft skills. These programs are providing the key. Some are run nationally with local chapters, while others are born and grounded locally by community members who are masters at identifying the kinds of opportunities these youth need in order to unlock their passion, drive and success. 

Education Must Focus on Competence, Not Outdated Traditions

Karen Pittman & Stephanie Malia Krauss
Thursday, January 23, 2014

In this dual blog posting, the Forum’s Karen Pittman and Stephanie Malia Krauss weigh in on an article about competence-based vs. traditional education. Pittman and Krauss reflect on their own experiences and offer suggestions on how schools can break free from the status quo.


'Unschooling' and Readiness for Success: A Disconnect

Karen Pittman
Monday, January 13, 2014

We know that America’s education system needs to be revamped, but is the answer to “unschool” our young people? Disturbingly, some people think so.

We know that kids learn best when they are motivated and interested. We see that providing more choice for students in how, where, when and at what pace they learn helps them succeed. We applaud parents, educators and policymakers who are building on this knowledge to redesign education in various ways across the country. 

Why Teaching is Harder than Rocket Science

Karen Pittman
Friday, December 20, 2013

While it may not be on their list to Santa, there’s one thing that every kid wants and needs:  a good teacher. Take time over the holidays to read this insightful and informative story from Ryan Fuller, a former NASA engineer who is now an 11th grade math teacher – one who is humbled by the revelation that teaching is harder than rocket science.

YouthBuild Grads Stir Inspiration and Anger

Karen Pittman
Thursday, December 19, 2013

The YouthBuild board of directors spent Friday morning at the Sasha Bruce YouthBuild Program in a very poor section of Washington, D.C. For two hours, we listened to six recent graduates talk about their pasts, their futures and the transformations they experienced because of the program and the commitment of the staff.