Karen Baptiste, Ed.S.
Karen started her career in the NYC Department of Education and is known for high-energy professional development at national conferences on brain-based learning and Universal Design for Learning, designed to reach the varying degrees of diverse learners. Previously, she has served as an instructional manager responsible for coaching educators through the largest special education reform in educational history for students across NYC. She’s also supervised the implementation of a district-wide Coach Credentialing program for over 300 coaches and 14,000 teachers in Broward County Public Schools.
As a recognized special educator who has developed an unwavering commitment to serving disenfranchised youth, especially students with disabilities, Karen is always at the core of positive movements by filling the “Opportunity Gap” with equity and access to improve student achievement, teacher effectiveness, school leadership, and self-efficacy. She serves on the Legislative Committee to advocate, propose, and develop national educational policy and initiatives, and authors blogs and articles in Education Week and ASCD Edge. Karen was also selected as 1 of 24 worldwide educational Emerging Leaders, ASCD in 2013 and was recently voted to serve on ASCD’s International Board of Directors. Prior to becoming a teacher, Karen was a journalist and worked at Channel 5. She enjoys traveling, acting, and brunching on Sundays.
To read more about Karen’s background as a special educator in New York City, click here.
Click here to read Karen’s article in Education Week Teacher on how No-Nonsense Nurturers in a variety of classrooms can use the Universal Design for Learning framework to support all students, not only those receiving special education services.
In the fall of 2017, Karen’s article on Courageous Conversations was featured in The 74. In it, she reflects on the power of having courageous conversations about race at the school level; conversations that get teachers and school staff out of their comfort zones and into a safe space of addressing their own biases to create shared goals that make schools better. This article was also shared in Education Week Teacher.