The K-12 education system is what every parent enrolls their student in, whether online or through public school. Students are assessed at regular intervals to determine their readiness for post-secondary education.
What is K-12?
K-12 stands for kindergarten through twelfth grade, which is when the student is considered an adult and can make the choice of whether they want to continue their education. It is an education system that youth participate in until they reach adulthood, and it is where they learn subjects, life skills, and social skills.
Every state has its own laws and regulations regarding the education system, the personnel hired, and the curriculum, as the state and local governments are responsible for education. States also control how long students must engage in education, and some states only make it mandatory up until age sixteen.
Towards the end of this education, the student takes assessments that demonstrate college or work readiness. Throughout their middle and high school years, students are given Grade Point Averages (GPA), which factor into their next steps. The GPA is determined by their grades and ranks them amongst their class.
Public schools are one of the K-12 education administering options, and they are publicly funded through taxes and government funding. The curriculum for public schools is typically developed by the district, which must follow state and federal regulations.
There are various pros for students attending public school.
- Public schools have more community and relationship connection opportunities.
- Some students learn better in person, where their questions can be answered immediately.
- In a classroom, there are fewer distractions, as teachers keep students focused on the course material.
Students have the option of attending public schools, which take place in public buildings and in classrooms with other students, or online schools, where learning can be conducted from anywhere.
There are accredited online schools that students can engage in that offer the same services as traditional schools, like counselors, clubs, and extracurricular activities. It is an alternative to traditional education that many families take advantage of, especially those who move around more or want to keep their children safer. There are online public school options, like a K12 online academy, that are free, as well as more private online schooling that has fees.
There are many pros for students engaging in online schooling.
- Students whose families are worried about Covid-19 are safe.
- Other school safety issues can be avoided, like bullying.
- Students’ needs can be better met with one-on-one attention.
- Military families don’t have to experience disruptions in education when moving around.
- Students who are parents or caregivers have more flexibility and freedom.
Though each state is responsible for its education laws, the federal government has attempted to override this by standardizing curriculum throughout all of the schools in the U.S. through the establishment of Common Core.
It is a set of standards regarding math and the English language that the federal government believes students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. While the majority of the states voluntarily adopted these standards, many withdrew and developed their own standards. When it was introduced, Common Core was layered on top of other academic tests required by the state, college entrance tests, and advanced placement tests, which caused a lot of confusion amongst the students and parents.
It is a system that takes time to adjust to, and it is not something that works for every student.
Students engaged in online learning must follow all of the standards that their state sets, and this includes Common Core standards, but they have more freedom in how they learn the standards.