For the past forty years, American public schools have been fundamentally transformed under the influence of a set of educational initiatives that have come to be known as the reform movement. The reform movement is a loose set of pedagogical, philosophical, and institutional priorities which prioritizes standardized testing, rote memorization, punitive high stakes accountability, and rigorous, lock step standards in response to a perceived lack of quality in public education. While the success of these massive shifts in educational priorities has yet to be proven, there are negative consequences for both teachers and students which merit investigation and concern on the part of educators and administrators. As a result of reform movement initiatives, our country and our students have experienced a deprivation of intrinsic motivation, creativity, democratic engagement, and agency that must be recognized and ameliorated. To this end, this paper seeks to identify and investigate the problems which have resulted from reform movement initiatives, and in turn, advocate for methods which could be implemented as intentional and thoughtful counterpoints to the hierarchical, undemocratic, and disempowering forces which have been brought to bear on our students, teachers, and schools.