Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hypocrisy At NEA? Say It Ain't So!

Edwonks tells us of a restaurant inside the NEA headquarters in Washington, DC, and wonders why the NEA doesn't practice what it preaches. They also wonder if the NEA Cafe is staffed by unionized workers. Here's an interesting snippet:

Policy wonks take note: NEA CafĂ©'s operation is outsourced to a private, for-profit vendor, Seasons Culinary Services—precisely what the union abhors in public education. This firm's philosophy is worth sharing, both because it's a fine one for a food service outfit and because it reads like the gustatory equivalent of a charter school. You can find the whole thing on the company's website. Here's part of it:

"Seasons Culinary Services, Inc. was formed as a reaction to the ever growing demand for increased personal attention and culinary flare in the food service industry.... Our culinary trends, customer driven programs and innovative ideas can be enacted more immediately because there are no large corporate barriers. While large food service companies have many programs and resources to offer, we feel that Seasons will continue to earn its reputation on our personal commitment to service and quality.

Our focus is our customer and our company goals are regional, not national or global....We aim to rid our accounts of the old stereotypes of corporate cafeterias and food lines by implementing creative menus, home made food, colorful presentation, and healthy alternatives in a simple and clean atmosphere."

It *does* sound like a charter school, doesn't it?

The restaurant is, at heart, a cafeteria catering to diverse tastes, with the virtues and vices of that genre. On the one hand, there are lots of choices. (If the NEA ran its restaurant by its education policy precepts, everyone would be served the same food—and told where to sit.)

A commenter wonders whether Mazza Reg pays for his meals there. You've got to love these beacons of light in the darkness, the ones that get the cockroaches scurrying.

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