Public school systems work with families from cradle to career. Schools begin services to families at birth, and they serve them through and beyond traditional graduation. Families and students of all types enroll in early intervention programs and early childhood programs, K-12 traditional classrooms, extended day and extended year programs, and a host of community education programs including adult and basic education programs.
Each type of program fills a unique niche, but it is critical that the parts have a strong degree of articulation and coordination between them. Furthermore, while grade-level requirements are met and benchmarks and standards are taught and learned, the successes at each level must add up to success for students when they leave the PK-12 system.
Understanding overall PK-12 systems, benchmarks and standards, grades, local assessments, and standardized assessments can be a challenge, but understanding their importance and the role they play in helping students succeed is critically important.
In the 21st century, the skills necessary to be ready for college have converged with the skills needed for entry into the military, vocational school, or a career. If college and career readiness is a primary goal for students as they leave the PK-12 system, it is important to understand how grade-level and course-level progress relates to the larger scope of being college and career ready.
This section outlines standards and benchmarks, types of assessments, and the levels of competency needed at each grade level to stay on track to college and career readiness.