Freire wrote about being integrated rather than adapted to the reality in which we find ourselves. Marx wrote about being self-actualized rather than alienated from ourselves. Thoreau wrote about sucking the marrow out of life in contrast to living lives of quiet desperation.
Schools, whether intentional or not, reinforce all of the "latters." This is because our systems of education were designed to meet the needs of power structures (economic, political, social) rather than individual humans. The accountability movement simply exacerbated the problem.
As a result, teachers, the humans tasked with helping other humans develop, find their students and themselves increasing toxified by this system. They see the harm being caused to children in the name of racing kids to the top, and they are leaving the profession in record numbers to rid themselves of the poison.
Educational initiatives have often been framed by those in power in ways that not only mask this dehumanizing paradigm, but convince the public that they are finally putting students first, as opposed to the adults in the building who have been "leaving children behind."
Consider the documentary "Waiting for Superman." The title alone casts teachers as the villain in this story when they are just as much victims of this dehumanizing system as their students.
We have largely reduced life to a quest for material gain. Success is measured by the numbers on our bank statements, the value of our homes and cars, and our ability to purchase everything capitalists convince us we NEED to be happier.
This material pursuit is translated to our educational systems by deifying test scores. If the success of an adult is the number on a paycheck, the value of a student is his/her score on a high stakes test.
This system forces students to adapt rather than integrate. It alienates us from ourselves and prevents self-actualization. And, sadly, it often leads to lives of quiet desperation.
Until we awaken to this, the system, and the people within it, will be caught in an increasingly soulless game. We will grasp at technology, methods, and interventions with the sole purpose of playing the game better rather than deconstructing it. We will be led to believe that kids just need more time in school, more access to technology, and more rigor. And they will be swept up in the game, driven to achieve the arbitrary goals forced upon them by adults, never knowing that their lives could have been embedded with much greater intention, joy, and peace.