Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More People Like the NRA than the NEA

Since many of us are currently in the business of education and many of us hope teaching will play a significant role in our careers, I thought I would share this interesting piece of social commentary.  From Rasmussen Reports:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of all Likely U.S. Voters hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the [National Education Association], with 17% Very Favorable. Thirty-seven percent (37%) regard the teacher’s union at least somewhat unfavorably, including 22% with a Very Unfavorable view. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure what they think of the group...Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters view the [National Rifle Association] favorably, including 29% with a Very Favorable opinion. The NRA is regarded unfavorably by 41%, with 25% who have a Very Unfavorable view.
So generally, 12% more of the population likes a group that promotes guns than likes a group that promotes teachers.  While there are clearly other factors (e.g., marketing, political activities, etc.) at work here rather than just a question guns vs. teachers, it made me wonder a little bit about how much society values my aspirations to teach.


  1. I don't think you can read into that too much.  Most people look at the NRA and don't see hunter safety training or the like but see a political action group with politics they disagree with.  A lot of people look at the NEA in the same way.  i.e. they don't see it primarily interested in teaching or teachers.

  2. I'm tired of surveys asking questions in such biased ways.  

    They should have asked: "What would you rather accomplish in life:  A. Discover a cool new scientific theory that will go on to revolutionize the world rewarding you with unfathomable fame and fortune or  B. Be known as "that wired guy" down the street with a set of rusty guns that nobody cares about?"With an unbiased question like that I bet science does better than guns.  

  3. Joe, only you would consider scientists glamorous and gun-owners weird.  :)

  4. I also wouldn't read into this survey too much.  However, a few observations:  First, it's true that more people had a favorable or very favorable view of the NRA than the NEA, but also more people had an unfavorable or very unfavorable view of the NRA than the NEA.  The NRA is just naturally more divisive.  Also, as has been said before, most people who spend any time thinking about the NEA don't view it as a bunch of teachers, they view it as a labor union.  (Labor unions in general can also be a rather divisive subject.)  If the survey had asked what the respondents' opinions were of their elementary or secondary education teachers (or maybe even college professors), I'd imagine the responses would have been almost entirely positive. 

  5. I don't equate the NRA with Colombine shooters.  And I don't equate the NEA with quality teaching, either.

    I don't think there has to be a pro-gun vs pro-teacher concept. And Rasmussen's questions aren't going that direction.  They are comparing two organizations that lobby for power.

    I am all for good education. That said, I've seen actions by the NEA that have promoted just the opposite.  In many states, they protect poor teachers at the expense of children's quality education.  Yes, there are some great teachers out there. But the NEA is out to become a more powerful organization, not to seek quality education for children.

    And the NRA is interested in promoting the 2nd Amendment.  I do not agree with all they are about, either.  However, I would feel safer with most in the NRA leadership than I would those in NEA leadership right now.


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