I have a couple of other concerns about this trend as well. First, high school dropouts report that "being bored" and "not learning anything" are the primary reasons they leave school--that's more likely to happen in a less-challenging-curriculum situation. Maye lower SES kids drop out more because of how we're teaching them.
Also, public schools are supposed to be leveling--they aren't supposed to reproduce the same class relations that already existed, which the research you cite tends to suggest.
Third, the economy of the future requires workers with greater skills. We need what Robert Reich calls "symbolic analysts," which requires higher-order thinking skills for the majority, not just the few.
Finally, good teaching depends substantially on the engagement of the teacher. Bored teachers are bad teachers. Powerless teachers are bad teachers. This method actually shifts public funds away from teachers (who don't need the same level of training if all they do is follow someone else's plan) and toward the private corporations that produce textbooks and lesson plans.
It most certainly is. Profit based education means that there is money to be made, and the people on those school boards know exactly how to make that money (with the Charter schools).[/QUOTE]