Aligning Expectations

Partnering with  K-12  to Ensure College  Readiness

In 2016, nearly 20 states planned to revise standards and adjust assessment systems, putting the important gains from aligning K-12 standards and tests with college-ready expectations at risk. We have partnered with National Association of System Heads (NASH) and State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) to design a set of tools to help higher ed navigate potential scenarios in the context of their state’s P-20 environment.

Ensuring College Readiness

As K-12 reviews standards and assessments, it is critical that higher ed leaders are actively involved in the decision-making process in order to ensure that the standards and assessments truly represent college-ready expectations. Higher education has played a significant role in developing new, college-ready standards and assessments with the goal of building a college readiness measure to improve the transition of students from high school to our campuses without the need for remediation. Now that work is being re-opened in many states. Without the continued input, participation, and leadership of higher education in the review process, the rigor of standards and assessments is at risk.

Standards Supporting Postsecondary Success

Colleges and universities have already begun to leverage the high standards and aligned assessments to establish stronger alignment with K–12 and help more students succeed. As the foundation for the P–20 pipeline, college-ready standards and assessments can help ensure that more students arrive on our campuses prepared for college-level work and are on track from day one to earn a degree or certificate. Ensuring that standards and assessments are college-ready helps to close the preparation gap so that proficient in high school means truly prepared for college or work.

Resource downloads


Aligning Expectations toolkit helps higher education leaders get involved in states’ reviews of standards and/or assessments.