High school students in the 1950s and 60s had to work extremely hard to be a failure. The U.S. had just too many internal opportunities. Students graduating in 2017 face the opposite issue - - students have to work extremely hard to not end up a failure. They have limited opportunities and very stiff global and regional competition. Because of this, the educational discussion shifted over time from minimization (i.e., a little of the three Rs and off to the Happy Days malt shop) to maximization (i.e., six hours of homework every night because some kid in China wants your job).
The new global populist world order and protectionists trade advocates seek to minimize high school graduate and middle class failure rates by getting us back to the malt shop. Look for educational minimization to take hold in a populist/protected world.