Education reform is perhaps the arena of discourse in which Foucauldian themes of subjectification are most explicit. Questions of what type of adult (citizen/subject) the education system should produce are directly articulated. From the point of view of social analysis, however, the actual production of subjectivities in schools remains a relatively opaque matter. Not only do many contradictory strands of political discourse exist side by side, but, even more importantly, the impact of these discourses on actual pedagogic practice is not direct. Moreover, it is doubtful that any pedagogic practice has the subjectifying effects that educators imagine. This paper examines educational rhetoric and practice in China's 'education for quality' (suzhi jiaoyu) reforms. It finds a contradictory mix of subjectifying rhetoric and practice in China's classrooms and suggests that discerning the types of subjects that are being produced in China's classrooms is far from an easy task.