To be fair, most organizations in the world use a similar phrase...but I find this phrase a bit more honest. It's not uncommon for a boss to make decisions "for the good of the company". I see a difference though. At least when companies say that they're doing things "for the good of the company", there's a level of honesty there. The bosses or employees are admitting that it's all about making as much money for the most amount of people possible. Opposing sides are allowed to argument on what's actually best for the company and how to make the most amount of money without needing to pull an ethical and moral card in the middle of an honest disagreement. In education, the use of metaphorical children as metaphorical human-shields can clutter the conversation.
When you're making tough decisions in education, there's often no clear "good-for-kids/bad-for-kids" meter. Actions that benefit adults directly may trickle down and help more kids later. Actions that cut specific programs may open up others. To view all cuts as "bad" and all hirings and new programs as "good" (or even vice-versa) clutters the issue. Obviously, in a perfect world we'd have an unlimited supply of money, staff, and resources to really give the best to all children. Since that's not the case, the debate becomes how to allocate those resources to keep the system moving. Is it better to make deeper cuts now to help the district in the future? Is it better to maintain status quo but potentially weaken the district down the road? Does making adults unhappy mean that children will suffer? Does giving adults what they want mean children will thrive?
Of course, there's also a point many people don't consider...sometimes morale in the staff, though indirectly, can benefit children as well. If teachers are able to pursue professional or personal goals within the context of their work, it can ultimately lead to better student experiences. In these cases, making choices that are "what's best for teachers" or "what's best for administrators" or "what's best for adults" ultimately becomes what's best for kids. It's not always an either/or situation.
Many of these questions have no right, easy, safe, or popular answers. Even teachers can't agree on this as a group as we continue to debate behaviorism v. constructivism and tests/quizzes v. projects/discovery. Many people, with personal, professional, and financial interests will share their views and ultimately a decision will be made. The only thing I feel we can truly hope for is that the "what's best for kids" card is left out of the deck.
Actually, I take that back. All choices are about "what's best for kids"...but the punctuation is wrong. Instead, let's look at it like a question:
...What is best for kids?