The “Quincy Method” is widely considered a successful nineteenth-century school reform. Pioneered by Francis Parker in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1875, it fostered broad pedagogic change in an ordinary school system, transforming Quincy into a renowned hub of child-centered instruction. This article revisits the reform and explores its interaction with the Massachusetts teacher labor market. In a market characterized by low wages and an oversupply of teachers but few experienced, well-trained ones, teachers used Quincy's reform to obtain higher-paying, higher-status positions while municipalities used it to recruit competent applicants. Both practices jeopardized Quincy's cohesive system. Though the ensuing turnover may have brought progressive pedagogies to the mainstream, departing teachers frequently assumed positions outside public schools or in systems ill-structured to maintain their expertise. Accordingly, the article probes a celebrated reform's unintended consequences and contributes to scholarship on nineteenth-century progressive school reforms and women teachers.