I'll admit, I've been guilty of this myself in the past. While I'd love to say I hold everyone to the same high standards, you also need to face reality and make the class functional. Giving students work that's too difficult for every single student doesn't raise their ability level; it simply forces them to check out. Of course sometimes, I think I have gone too far in the past. I've assumed "there's no way they'll be able to do this" and not even tried. If there's one thing I've learned in the past five years, it's that students always impress you when you least expect it.
So today, I'm reversing low expectations. While in-class essays are typically reserved for the CP classes, this year I'm running one in the "regular" course. While it might not be as strong of writing as their CP peers, I think it's important these students have the same experiences, and similar expectations. If I'm the one setting the low bar, then I'm simply a part of the problem.