February
18th 2010
I Promise (Mostly) to Cut Back on Using the “It’s For the Kids” Line

Posted under Edublogging & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & Teachers

Look, I’m not perfect. Using the “for the children” argument is something I have resorted to only on a few occasions. I’ve even had fun mocking someone for using the counter-intuitive “blame the children” argument. For a little kid like myself, that’s not a bad record.

But now I’ve got to keep on my toes. The sharp and cynical education policy maven Rick Hess now has his own blog for Education Week, and right out of the gate he’s not pulling punches beating on the “It’s For the Kids” (ITFK) mantra — including letting us all know how silly AFT president Randi Weingarten and former U.S. Department of Education officials sound doing it:

Such variants of the IFTK genus are intended to stifle questions by flaunting moral superiority. Playing the IFTK card ignores the likelihood that no one is eager to leave anybody’s kids behind and the reality that policies entail imperfect choices. By squelching honest dissent, IFTK excuses incoherent policy and practice in the name of moral urgency.

So, here’s a wild idea. Can’t we just presume that everybody cares (or admit that we can’t tell the posers from the real deal) and just argue policies and practices instead?

It’s a good reminder to me, as well. I don’t claim (nor do I aspire) to have nearly the sharp cynical wit that Mr. Hess does. But I promise to try even harder to steer clear of using the “It’s For the Kids” line here at Ed Is Watching — unless it’s in support of begging my parents and other faithful readers to help build my Lego collection.

7 Comments »

7 Responses to “I Promise (Mostly) to Cut Back on Using the “It’s For the Kids” Line”

  1. Remainders: ID’ing the country’s “private public schools” | GothamSchools on 18 Feb 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    [...] Hess’ call to swear off that phrase is prompting other bloggers to take the [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » How to Push Ben DeGrow’s Buttons in Making Arguments about School Funding on 25 Feb 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    [...] same day that I promised to stay away from using the “it’s for the kids” line to make an argument, the Denver Post published an online column by University of Northern Colorado [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » Even If Lobato Lawsuit is “For the Kids” Doesn’t Make Taxpayer Funding Good Idea on 02 Mar 2010 at 11:51 am #

    [...] all. But why should I be upset about taxpayers funding both sides of the Lobato case? After all, it’s for the kids, right? Sorry, never [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » For the Taxpayers and For the Children: Ben DeGrow on Colorado Springs TV on 31 Mar 2010 at 11:09 am #

    [...] been doing a really good job cutting back on using “It’s For the Kids” in my blog logic, right? Well, that doesn’t stop certain groups from wanting to undermine [...]

  5. Peoples Press Collective | Colorado Politics | For the Taxpayers and For the Children: Ben DeGrow on Colorado Springs TV : on 31 Mar 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    [...] been doing a really good job cutting back on using “It’s For the Kids” in my blog logic, right? Well, that doesn’t stop certain groups from wanting to undermine [...]

  6. Ed is Watching » Ben DeGrow Takes Heat for Tackling $10 Billion Edujobs Bailout in Denver Post on 16 Aug 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    [...] very little tangling with the actual argument and plenty of vitriol. But as long as it’s “for the children” like me…. If you want to jump in the comment section (either here or there), feel free. The [...]

  7. Ed is Watching » Latest on EduJobs: Rhode Island to Spend Down Budget Deficit with Fed Funds? on 02 Sep 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    [...] Colorado. But how many other states will use the federal printing presses and the public sympathies “for the children” to take some of the education jobs money in order to cover general shortages in their [...]

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