Kirst points out that the two testing systems only overlap in Advanced Placement courses. He says that:
[Forty-nine] states (all but Iowa) set K-12 standards and assessments...without talking with higher education institutions and state boards for higher education....
Higher education, Kirst says, pays attention to "the upward trajectory of pupils" -- for example, an admissions test’s capacity "to predict student performance in the first year of college."
The K-12 systems pay attention to high school graduation and meeting annual state and federal growth goals.
In the past, Kirst has pointed out that a lack of alignment between K-12 standards-and-testing and college admissions deprives the K-12 accountability system of support from a civicly-engaged constituency: the parents of college-bound children. In this post, he points out that the lack of alignment leads to college students having to take remediation course on subject matter that they should have learned in high school.
Kirst points out that university officials say that K–12 tests "have not been evaluated to see how well they predict freshman grades." But he says "such evaluations are not difficult to conduct."
I would be interested in hearing good reasons why we can't have grades (advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and the like) on K-12 tests aligned to college admissions and placement levels and why we can't have admissions achievement tests aligned to placement levels . The existing "babble of standards," as Kirst terms it, sends unclear signals to students (particularly, Kirst notes, those from low-SES families).