Teaching calculus to a third grader won’t work and will make the perfectly normal third grader feel stupid which is the same reason plenty of low-achievers drop out of Public School. As the album said: “You Can’t Fix Stupid”. They cannot learn enough to pass the Common Core subjects so they cannot graduate from High School. It’s almost inhumane to put low achieving students who through no fault of their own cannot learn the Common Core basics into a public school system then demand they do the impossible: pass the minimums for a High School Graduation Certificate.
At the very least Public Education needs more than the two different educations: academic and a trade path. A more basic education that would teach low-achievers a sort of minimum education which although it would be too difficult for some of them would still be an education with which they would feel comfortable while being an education with real achievements in it.
Perhaps you would call that “Dumbing Down Education but the effect would be just the opposite. Children who could not master the difficult subjects wouldn’t have to decide between quitting or failing to learn. Instead of trying to fix stupid, lets embrace it and give the low-achievers a better education than the poor education they now receive.