This varies from county to county within states, and even from school to school within school districts. One of the most successful schools in the state I used to teach in purposely tracked kids once they left kindergarten and grouped them according to their academic performance. Children who needed extra help, while they were moved forward, were placed in the same classroom together to ensure they were given the extra help they needed and their teacher was able to differentiate his/her instruction effectively. The teacher assigned this class rotated each year so that the teacher avoided burn-out and so that the students never really knew which teacher was assigned the kids who needed that extra help who are so often labeled by other kids as "stupid" or "dumb". This continued certainly throughout elementary school, and the high school associated with school had a 99% graduation rate.
But that doesn't answer your questions. You need to go to the school your child is zoned for and talk directly to the principal. Call and schedule a meeting--don't just drop in. Principals are extremely busy--especially during the school year--and you want to make sure that a) the principal is there when you arrive (and not at a meeting at another school or the central office, for example) and b) you have the principal's undivided attention for the time you're there. You can ask things like, "How long have your 1st grade teachers been teaching?". If one's been teaching for 10 years and the other for 20, does it matter to you which teacher your daughter gets? Also, ask things like, "How long have they been teaching first grade?". It isn't uncommon for elementary school teachers to teach several grades throughout their teaching careers and there is a huge difference between teaching a 5th grader and a 1st grader. Ask what the typical school day is like.
Doing this will also give you an idea of the personality of the principal and the vibe of the school overall, and should allow you to express any concerns you have and ask any questions. You may not be able to influence the decision of which class your daughter is placed in, but you should hopefully come away more comfortable with the process.