College and Career Readiness

National PTA is uniquely positioned to be an influential and credible voice in advancing college and career readiness to promote student success. We define college and career readiness as: A student prepared to go directly to work or enroll and succeed – without remediation – in a variety of postsecondary institutions so that they are ready to enter a career of their choice. Every year in the United States, many first-year college students discover that, despite being fully eligible to attend college, they are not ready for postsecondary studies. Millions of dollars are spent on remedial courses. Many students are unable to pass the military entrance exam. Businesses across the country depend on a highly-qualified workforce prepared for jobs in the 21st century but find that they are unable to fill positions with competent candidates. PTA believes that America’s youth must be prepared and possess critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary to engage in post-secondary education and today’s complex work environments, as well as compete in our global economy. 

In order to address these issues, states have been in the process of fully implementing college and career ready standards and aligned curriculum and assessments over the past several years. Standards and assessments are important components of college and career readiness and the accountability sections of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As states continue to implement academic standards and aligned curriculum and assessments, it is imperative that PTA leaders take action to ensure the parent voice is heard, effective progress is made, and all students graduate high school ready for whatever path they choose for their future. 

As PTA leaders, we can help achieve this goal by working with local and state decision makers to ensure meaningful family engagement and college and career readiness and success. National PTA has always been the premier child advocacy leader, informing families and the community on the importance of standards, assessments, engagement and advocacy. PTA parents should use the following resources to advocate on these issues. 

National PTA’s Resolutions and Position Statements provide support for advocating on standardsassessments, and related college and career readiness topics. National PTA’s website has a myriad of resources that allow our state PTAs to lead on college and career readiness and the changes happening in states and schools. Resources such as toolkits, PPTs, handouts, videos, parent guides, assessment guides, fact sheets, partner websites and more, will help you communicate PTA’s positions to parents and families, create action plans, provide support for parents to help their children and disseminate valuable information to parents, families, and communities. 

We must work to ensure that no matter what city, county, or state children live in, they all receive the same high quality, equitable education. National PTA speaks with a powerful voice on behalf of every child and provides the best tools for parents and communities to help their children. For more information on standards, assessments and college and career readiness topics, please visit For questions or additional help, please contact the College and Career Readiness Team:

Chrystal Jones, Senior State Advocacy Strategist
Shawna Fritzler, Regional Advocacy Specialist
Melisa Yeoman, Regional Advocacy Specialist