Back to the Seven Sins -- I strongly agree with his second premise:
2. Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other.
It is not easy to force people to do what they do not want to do....Children are made to feel ashamed if they perform worse than their peers and pride if they perform better....Those made to feel excessive pride from the shallow accomplishments that earn them A's and honors may become arrogant, disdainful of the common lot who don't do so well on tests; disdainful, therefore, of democratic values and processes (and this may be the worst effect of all).
While I agree that what happens to those who don't measure up is terrible, what happens to those who do is not much better. I think tracking can be useful, but it's not without it's downside. I wonder if some of these successful students don't internalize the constant competition and become somewhat fearful that they will find someone better, smarter, or more accomplished. To look at others as a constant source of competition strikes me as a barrier to healthy relationships. But I'm no pyschologist.