Photo by tableatny on Flickr.

Catania ponders mayoral run: Councilmember David Catania, chair of the DC Council’s education committee, is launching an exploratory committee, saying he wants to see if he can do more for education as mayor. As an independent, he can wait until June, well after the April primary, to make a final decision. (City Paper)

Mayoral hopeful Bowser jumps on middle school bandwagon: In the wake of Catania’s call for DCPS to come up with a plan to improve middle schools, Councilmember Muriel Bowser introduced a resolution calling the dearth of quality middle schools “unsustainable and unjust.” She wants all DCPS middle schools to offer the opportunities available at the overcrowded Deal MS in Ward 3. (Post)

DC Council tentatively approves funding for at-risk students: The bill, introduced by Catania, would provide additional money for low-income students and those at risk of failure. The effort could cost as much as $120 million a year, but the level of funding is still uncertain. (Post)

Football recruiting fuels school transfers: High school football coaches in DC routinely scout other schools for promising players. Generally, the District has a highly mobile student population, with a transfer rate exceeding that of Fairfax County by 50%. (Post)

Teen pregnancy declines, but more slowly east of the river: In DC, as elsewhere in the country, teenage pregnancy rates have plummeted, thanks to a combination of abstinence and contraceptives. But more than 500 of the 879 births to District teens in 2011 were to residents of Wards 7 and 8. (Post)

Charter advocate argues school choice has saved DC schools from collapse: Robert Cane argues that charter schools here have benefited low-income, minority families who were previously ill-served by DC’s traditional public school system. (Examiner)

Why Henderson’s departure for New York is unlikely: Some are speculating that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will appoint DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson to head New York’s school system, but Valerie Strauss argues that they two don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues. (Post)

Recommendations for reforming math education: In the wake of disappointing scores by American 15-year-olds on international math tests, a group of math professors have ideas for improving high school math instruction. And the editorial board of the New York Times says math instruction needs to be more engaging beginning in the early grades. (Post, NYT)

DC Council postpones surplus decision on former DCPS school: The Lab School is seeking a renewal of its long-term lease of the old Hardy School on Foxhall Rd. But, saying they want more assurance that the District won’t need to reclaim the school to handle overcrowding, councilmembers put off a vote until December 17. (NW Current)

Schools reconsider “zero tolerance” policies: Alarmed at the growing number of arrests of students for minor offenses like writing graffiti, some schools are offering troublesome students classes and counseling instead of suspensions. (NYT)

DC adult charter wins award: An organization focusing on integration of immigrants into American society has given its E Pluribus Unum prize to Carlos Rosario PCS, which teaches English and vocational skills to DC immigrants. The prize carries a $50,000 award. (Examiner)

Students at MD high school are playing “Assassin:” About 400 students at Montgomery Blair High School are participating in a game that has students attempting to “kill” one another. Although it involves no real violence, some say the student-organized game is inappropriate in an era of school shootings. (Post)

Today is education “Day of Action:” A coalition of groups led by the American Federation of Teachers is sponsoring events in 60 cities, including DC, to promote alternatives to what they term the “corporate agenda” for education reform. (Post)

Mentoring program keeps students on track to graduate: For the past 26 years, Mentors, Inc., has paired DC high school students with adults who provide encouragement and guidance. Now it’s piloting a middle school program too. (Post)

Upcoming events:

Greater Greater Education hosts Councilmember Catania: Join us for a conversation about DC education with David Catania, chair of the DC Council’s Education Committee. TONIGHT, Monday, December 9, from 6:30 to 8 pm, at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, near the Eastern Market Metro. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP here.

Ward 7 School Fair: The event will highlight citywide educational options as well as neighborhood schools in Ward 7. Information will also be available about the new lottery, My School DC. December 14, 10 am to 1 pm, at Kelly Miller MS, 301 49th Street NE.