Whiteboard Notes | What the Midterm Results Mean for Education; Virginia Democrat to Lead U.S. House Education Committee;

Congressman Bobby Scott Prepares for New Role as Education Chair: On Tuesday night, the election results ushered in a change of leadership for the Education and Workforce Committee in the House of Representatives. Current Ranking Member, Bobby Scott (D-VA), will likely assume the role of Chairman of the Committee when the 116th Congress begins in January 2019. While Democrats look to assert a stronger oversight role on the Trump Administration and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Congressman Scott has indicated that he will also work in a bipartisan fashion where possible - particularly toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and addressing the cost of college. [The Washington Post; Subscription Required]
 
Education Department Releases Parent Guide to School Report Cards: On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education put out a guide to help families understand state and local school report cards, which are mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA directs states and districts to publish report cards that show important measures of state, district and school performance, and progress - including graduation rates, student achievement, school climate, state accountability, teacher qualifications and other key indicators around fiscal transparency. [U.S. Department of Education]
 
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against ED Brought By For-Profit College: On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by for-profit college operator, Education Corporation of America (ECA), against the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ECA filed a lawsuit against the ED last month in the Northern District of Alabama to keep access to federal student aid funding (authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act) while it pursued a financial restructuring plan upon closing a number of campuses. Higher education institutions that enter the bankruptcy are typically barred from receiving Title IV federal student aid, including grants and loans. The company brought the lawsuit to ask for access to the federal aid while currently enrolled students look to receive transfer credits at other institutions. The judge ruled, however,  that the court does not have jurisdiction in the case. [Inside Higher Ed

New Mexico Teacher Shortage Continues: The number of teacher vacancies in the state of New Mexico has grown substantially since last October from 342 to 740, meaning roughly 52,455 students are being taught by substitute teachers, who may not be certified. According to a report by the New Mexico State University, the large number of open positions is illuminated through the state’s “teacher attractiveness” rating of 2.18 out of 5, which takes into account compensation, working conditions, teacher qualifications, and teach turnover. [Albuquerque Journal; Subscription Required]
 
$85M STEM High School to Open Next Fall in Chicago: This Monday, Chicago Public Schoolsannounced the opening of a STEM High School next fall to replace the several high schools closing in the South Side district of Englewood. As the ninth STEM high school in the district, the school will focus on preparing students for careers in math, science, and engineering, offering students the opportunity to enroll in vocational programs, mentoring, and internships, as well as the ability to earn college credits and certificates through the Kennedy-King College. [Chalkbeat

More Students Taking Online College Classes: The Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics recently published a report, which highlighted the increase of students taking online college courses. According to the report, the number of students who took some of their courses online grew by 5.7%, and the proportion of all students enrolled online grew to 15.4%, up from 14.7% in 2016.  [Inside Higher Ed]
 
Uptick in Students Being Treated for Mental Health: According to a new study published by the American Psychiatric Association, there has been an increase of students who are being diagnosed and treated for mental health issues. In 2017 34% of respondents were treated for mental health issues, whereas only 19% of  respondents were treated in 2007. The American Psychiatric Association surveyed 155,000 students at 196 college campuses. [Inside Higher Ed]
 
Coaching Sparks Continued Enrollment Increases at North Carolina HBCU: After a long period of declining enrollment, North Carolina HBCU Elizabeth City State University has successfully increasednew student enrollment for two consecutive years. Building on a 72% increase in student enrollment last year, ECSU achieved a 20% enrollment increase this year. The university attributes both increase to an enrollment coaching program it started in partnership with coaching organization InsideTrack. The program provides potential ECSU students with coaches to help them identify degree programs that match their academic and career interests, and successfully complete the enrollment process. [Diverse Education]