The problem as I see it is that children are not products. Each child is a unique individual who enters the school system with all the baggage and support of his/her experiences. There is no one perfect way to transform four-year-old pre-K students into graduating seniors of equal performance.
Praise the Lord that no one has ever considered athletic ability to be something every student must master before graduation. I wouldn't have made it out of high school. I think the idea that every single child can and should master all of the same subjects to a superior level is just as unattainable.
We have high school students who are disruptive in classes because they have no interest in academic subjects like advanced mathematics, Shakespeare, chemistry, foreign language, etc. They want to be welding, working on cars, learning a trade...so why don't we give them that opportunity? Why do we force everyone into a cookie cutter college bound future?
It's just my opinion, but then who else's would it be?