The primary educational aims in public K-12 schools in the United States are for all students to meet Common Core standards at each grade level and for all students to graduate from high school. Public school districts also work to prepare students to enter higher education institutions or join the work force.
The primary focus for public school education is for students to achieve Common Core standards, which aim to prepare students for life after high school. The Common Core goals revolve around math and literacy, since those are the subject areas considered most important for students to master. The Common Core creates consistent standards across all public school districts regarding expectations for student knowledge and achievement.
A collaboration of school administrators, teachers and other professionals working in academia developed the Common Core's grade-level standards, which are based on research and are intended to keep the United States competitive with other top-performing countries.
A full list of the Common Core standards, organized according to grade level and subject area, is available at CoreStandards.org. While it is not mandatory for states to adopt these goals, 42 states have done so voluntarily, as of 2015. Each state participating in the Common Core also has its own website outlining the statewide standards.