Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, testified before the council that Brown's bill to make students take at least one college-entrance exam and apply to at least one postsecondary institution was "overreaching." He also testified that charter schools were already incentivizing students to prepare for college.
"All they want is our money and they don't want us to tell them what to do," Brown said of the city's charter schools. He added, "You know I'm a supporter of the charter schools, but for the charter schools to sit here and say [that]. ..."
Brown also appeared angry when D.C. Public Schools' chief academic officer, Carrie Wright, said she did not support additional graduation requirements for D.C. students.
Brown asked Wright if any of her colleagues or employees lacked college degrees. Wright said she did not know and would have to check -- not quite the answer Brown was asking for.
"Dr. Wright, I am appalled that I am sitting here and you can't even agree that this should be mandatory," said Brown, who questioned Wright's grasp on the situation after she said she had been with the school system for three years.
Brown introduced the College Preparation Plan Act of 2012 on the premise that more students will go to college if they take concrete steps toward admission. Eleven states require that students take the SAT or ACT.
Several D.C. schools, like Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, already require students to apply to at least one college. Washington Math Science Technology Public Charter School has students apply to at least five.
Although she personally opposed it, Wright said D.C. Public Schools planned to support the bill after working with the chairman to improve it, and Hosannah Mahaley, head of the agency that regulates both DCPS and the charters, said she supported the bill.
Spokesmen for DCPS and the charter school board did not return requests for comment by deadline Thursday.