All students who attend D.C. public and charter schools will have to take either the SAT or ACT test before graduating from high school, if a bill sponsored by D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown passes, writes Tim Craig at the Washington Post.
The proposed legislation would also require all of the 70,000 students to apply to attend at least one college or post-secondary institution — regardless of whether they want to continue their education.
"It's clear, when you look at jobs available in the District, many require a minimum of a college degree," said Brown.
"The idea is to increase graduation rates and get more young folks who want to go college, college-ready."
As the bill still needs to make its way through the legislative process, it's unclear whether financial assistance would be available to students who are unable to pay for college applications or SAT and ACT fees. But Brown is sure the city would make sure poor students have a way to meet the requirements.
D.C. public schools currently hold an unimpressive 43 percent dropout rate. Brown believes it's imperative that the district standardizes how students view post-secondary education.
He'd also like to see the standard set by some charter schools that already require students to prepare for the SAT or ACT and apply for college as a precedent for all schools in the district.
"I'm not saying everyone should go to college, but my goodness, we have to get more young folks prepared to go to college if they want to go to college.
"A lot of them don't even know how to prepare and apply to college."
Brown noted that eleven states already mandate that high school students must take either the SAT or ACT exams.