Top Headlines 11/22

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Child Welfare

More coverage of Los Angeles County’s child welfare system, which is now as much a story about how the situation has been covered as it is about the system itself:

- L.A. Times Assistant Managing Editor David Lauter responds late last week to criticism of its coverage by Daniel Heimpel and Celeste Fremon.

-The Times publishes an editorial on fixing the system, focused on finding a new leader and honing in on the poorly-performing offices. 

-Fremon writes a lengthy rebuttal to Lauter, decides not to run it, and instead publishes this abridged rebuttal which also compliments the Times editorial.

-L.A. Daily News reporter Troy Anderson weighs in with a look at how the federal waiver factors into the whole thing.

In Nebraska, the Journal Star published an editorial this weekend that posed these questions to the state on privatization: what’s the plan, and what’s the rush?

Oregon’s child welfare director wants to use her critical incident response team to investigate abuse in foster homes and group settings, reports the Register-Guard’s Mark Baker. Right now, the team focuses mostly on investigations of deaths of children who are kept at home.

Education/Jobs

The Denver Post’s editorial page Sunday applauded the University of Colorado’s pledge to guarantee enrollment to all state community college students who maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA and take selected core courses.

The Los Angeles Times’ Carlos Rivera examines the impact of California universities’ rising tuition fees on state residents.

ABC 6 in Indianapolis ran a piece last week about a new campaign to increase high school graduation rates in Marion County, Ind., which the group behind the campaign claims has the second highest high school dropout rate in the nation. Involving local businesses and providing mentors are among the strategies the Marion County Commission on Youth plans to employ in its “I Care Campaign.”

Baltimore lawyer George Liebmann presents a harsh critique of federal youth employment policy in this Baltimore Sun guest column. Liebmann presents the situation as a nation crisis and attacks both Republican and Democratic efforts to deal with the staggering teen unemployment figures.

Juvenile Justice

Advocates in North Carolina are pushing legislation that would raise the age of jurisdiction in the state, reports Jamie Shea of Asheville’s Citizen Times. The state is currently one of two that consider 16-year-olds to be adults (the other is New York.

Let judges make the calls on which older teens to keep in juvenile court, wrote a former police officer in the Citizen Times.

Virginian-Pilot’s Janie Bryant looks at three juvenile offenders in the state who are doing serious adult time for their crimes.

The infamous Luzerne County juvenile justice system used to deal severely with minor offenders. Now, reports Citizen’s Voice reporter Jim Dino, it will rely on citizen panels created to keep juveniles from facing a judge.

James Cannon of the Midland Reporter-Telegram in Texas reports on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision that the state’s 2009 ban on juvenile life without parole sentences did not warrant a retroactive look back at 20 teens sentenced to LWOP from 2005 to 2009. It sets up a weird scenario: juveniles who faced the death penalty in Texas before the U.S. Supreme Court abolished it were retroactively given life with parole, and now juveniles guilty of lesser crimes will not receive the same eligibility.