(From I Used to Think ... And Now I Think, by Richard Elmore.)
I blanch visibly when I hear educators say, “We’re in it for the kids.” This phrase is a monument to self-deception, and, if I could, I would eradicate it from the professional discourse of educators. Public schools, and the institutions that surround them, surely rank among the most self-interested institutions in American society. Local boards function as platforms and training beds for aspiring politicians. Superintendents jockey for their next job while they’re barely ensconced in their current one. Unions defend personnel practices that work in a calculated and intentional way against the interests of children in classrooms. School administrators and teachers engage in practices that deliberately exclude students from access to learning in order to make their work more manageable and make their schools look good. All of these behaviors are engaged in by people who routinely say, “We’re in it for the kids.”
... To say that the adults in public institutions “represent” the interests of their clients — children and families — is self-deceptive and irresponsible.