Council chair Kwame Brown on Tuesday said he's got plans for a new piece of legislation that would require high school students in the District of Columbia to apply to college before they could graduate.
Calling it the College Plan Act of 2011, the proposed law would have every DCPS student go through the process of filling out a college application and taking either SAT or ACT tests.
"We all talk about the private schools and the successful charter schools and we talk about the successful schools, what do they have in common?" Kwame said in Tuesday's news conference. "They require their students to take the SAT, or ACT before graduation."
Brown wants workshops made available to teach high school students how to fill out applications and forms for financial aid.
The Council chair said that his inspiration for this proposed legislation came from bringing District students on college tours. He said that many D.C. students do not consider college a real option, and he thinks his proposed law would give give students the ambition to pursue an education after high school.
Many reporters in the room questioned whether Brown's plan would place an extra burden on students who do not have any interest in college, or might be more inclined to go after vocational or technical training.
Brown said the proposed law making college applications mandatory was not "trying to funnel" everyone to undergraduate education, but did say that he was open to discussion about the plan and its implementation. But he did stress that he wanted the measure to help make college a viable opportunity for students who might not have considered it a possible part of their future.
"If you spend time with me on these college tours, and you get young folks the ability to go and see colleges," Brown said, "you will see first hand how some of them when they are exposed to it, they suck it up, and they really want to go to college."