This question is up to debate...what should students know before they enter college? College professors and school educators have different thoughts about this issue. College professors believe that the state content standards focus on the wrong things while the school educators indicate that the standards help them and the students on what needs to be covered. Every state except for Iowa has a set of state standards in the various core subjects. Why doesn't Iowa have a set of state standards?? I could not find an answer to this question.
High school teachers are working very, very hard at following and teaching their state standards. However college faculty feel it was more important for students to learn a fewer number of fundamental but essential skills. In terms of science, high school teachers consistently rated factual knowledge more important than process and inquiry skills, such as understanding a hypothesis. This is where the high school teacher and college faculty can agree on. College faculty generally ranked evaluating the similarities and differences, or strengths and weaknesses, of scientific viewpoints important. Whereas, high school teachers were more likely to cite understanding the physics principles involved in collisions.