All of that is true, but...
It's perfectly possible to get groups of students who are in no way competitive. I have a couple of groups in a secondary school at the moment who simply don't care. They are all quite good - in fact some of them are very good, but they feel no need to show this. Getting an A, a B+, a D or an F results in pretty much the same reaction. I have introduced some gamification aspect (and plan to introduce more) but very few react to it.
You can be equipped with the best teaching tools in the world (and for that matter you can be the best teacher in the world) but if the learners refuse to accept the point in learning something then the effect is minimal. If the name of your school tells an employer that the kids are probably not very bright then it's no surprise that the kids become extremely resistant to motivational input.
An interesting aside. I introduced a cross-class ranking system to see who was performing best in the whole school. The teachers are extremely interested in that! It's generated quite a bit of productive discussion about why Teacher X or Teacher Y's kids are not ranked higher.
Sorry, your post was badly timed for me - yesterday was parents' evening. I'll go and let off steam in a blog post!
All the best