Now that the infamous “fail wail” is back in the news via today’s Times story pointing out that the administration’s estimate of the number of schools that wouldn’t make “adequate yearly progress” was wildly off it’s worth remembering two pieces of context that this TIME column from this spring tried to address. First, while the number wasn’t valid the underlying goal was: Prod action on No Child Left Behind reauthorization at a time that probably was the point of no return in terms of getting it done before 2013. Second, when you look at the data is 48 percent of schools missing targets really all that surprising? Plenty of good schools, of course, but let’s see, six in ten minority students not finishing high school, 8 percent of low-income students getting a B.A. by age 24, four grade-level gaps in achievement on the NAEP by high school, poor outcomes for kids in special education programs and students whose first language is not English…And all those students are not concentrated into just a few schools, these issues affect all communities. So is anyone seriously surprised that a lot of schools need to do better? The No Child law’s accountability system needs to be modified, of course, – it’s almost a decade old – but don’t shoot the messenger too much and don’t let the problems with the law obscure the underlying context about what’s happening in our schools to too many kids.