Under ESSA, state standards have to be aligned so that the end point of the state standards in k-12 is aligned with the entrance requirements for the public system of higher education and career and technical state standards. This seemed like a logical requirement: students and parents expect that when the student leaves high school, the student is then prepared to go on to higher education or career and technical education.
The problem with this is that it is neither a logical expectation, nor is it the expectation we have had traditionally. Nor is it every fully explained.
Well, whatever. I guess the good part is that the only logically consistent way to do this is to align high school standards to the least demanding post-secondary requirements in each area, because there is still no justification for denying a student a high school diploma if they are eligible for any post-secondary job training.