Top Headlines for 11/28

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Child Welfare

Marcy Valenzuela, a former foster youth from East Los Angeles, makes the case in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that the county’s juvenile dependency courts should remain closed to the public.

Argues Valenzuela: “In these days when damaging stories spread in a flash on Facebook and blogs in a flash, it's easy to see how quickly embarrassing details could spread like wildfire and be used to bully children and youths. If young people can't be forthcoming in court because they're worried about their personal information going public, the entire process is compromised.”

Naomi Creason of Pennsylvania’s The Sentinel breaks down the state’s system for receiving, investigating and retaining information about abuse allegations.

Derek Vital of the Herald News reports that alleged incidents of child abuse are on the rise in Fall River and New Bedford, two blue-collar Massachusetts cities.


Heavy student debt loads are a problem in specific focus because of the Occupy movement. But students who take extreme steps to avoid debt at all costs may get stuck with something much more financially damaging, reports Justin Pope of the Associated Press: no degree at all.

John Hechinger of Bloomberg looks at the recent Government Accountability Office report on for-profit schools, with an eye on the findings about cheating and grading standards.

After reading Kaplan CEO Andrew Rosen’s new book, Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews gives readers five reasons why for-profit colleges are here to stay.

Juvenile Justice

Isaac Wolf of Scripps Howard looks at the numbers and trends pertaining to juveniles in adult jails. One of his many interesting finds: “Budget pressures are pushing some youths accused of lesser crimes into adult lockups even while their cases remain in the juvenile justice system. Their numbers have doubled in recent years, from 1,009 in 2005 to 1,912 in 2010.”

Establishing regional juvenile detention centers, in light of the desire for fiscal savings at the county level, has bipartisan support in New Jersey, reports Jason Laday of The News of Cumberland County.

Delaware's juvenile-justice agency has begun putting more youths into community treatment programs instead of assigning them probation officers to improve their chances of staying out of trouble, reports Mike Chalmers of The News Journal.

A South Dakota county is hoping to start using GPS ankle bracelets in lieu of juvenile detention more often, reports Alica Thiele. Minnehaha County needs a $100,000 grant from the state’s Council of Juvenile Services to make it happen.