Michel Foucault argues that power is everywhere, all of the time. He describes it as concrete, "capillary," acting in, on and through the actual body. All "knowledge" and "truth" is an effect of that power which is why power and knowledge are integrally related. Power/knowledge produces social positioning. In this study I use Activity Theory to describe how power/knowledge works in the figured world of an inner city urban middle school that has been "marked" as underperforming by the institutional discourses of urban school reform and how that marking produces the types of interventions the school receives as well as the identities of the people in the school when these interventions "fail." The study documents how power/knowledge positions the principals, teachers, National Writing Project consultants and children, and how power acts in, on and through their words and bodies. The research explores how the principals, teachers, and writing consultants negotiate dominant school reform narratives alongside counter narratives of writing and ways of being in the world as they work with children to become writers in social studies classes. By using Critical Discourse Analysis, I describe more specifically how four girls improvise their identities as writers in order to perform "good student" in the figured world of the school. This three-year qualitative study demonstrates how children's and teachers' resistances to the objectivist reform agenda make visible possibilities for educational change.