We have had a quarter century of tuition going up faster than family income. And we've had completely inadequate increases in the Pell grant. Many states and institutions are shifting from need-based aid to aid based on test scores. At the same time, college has become much more essential for achieving middle-class status in the U.S.
Only the kids who get a postsecondary education are even keeping even in terms of income in their lives, and so forth. The rest are falling behind, year by year. Only about a twelfth of the Latino kids and maybe a sixth of the black kids are getting college degrees. The rest of them aren't getting ready for anything that's going to have much of a future in the American economy.
The law sets out what seem to be very clear goals and consequences. However, as researchers predicted before the law was enacted, huge numbers of schools would be branded as failures, including many that are seen as successes and often have rising achievement levels. In response, the administration is permitting a wide variety of changes that lower the failure rate.