Just the Facts, Please!

While researching something else, I stumbled across a March 2011 post on NEA.org headlined, “Just the Facts, Please!” It was part of an issue of NEA Today devoted to showing that the union’s positions on controversial education reforms are fact-based, while those of its opponents are based on fallacies.

That’s NEA’s prerogative, but I found it humorous that the piece begins this way:

“It isn’t what we don’t know that hurts, it’s what we know that ain’t so,” said Will Rogers. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things about public schools that many pundits and politicians “know” that aren’t so. Here’s the truth about key areas of contention.

That quote, in various forms, has often been attributed to Will Rogers and others. However, it most certainly originated with 19th century humorist Josh Billings. Strangely enough, I used the frequent misattribution as the basis of a post on ignorance in February 2011.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out page 3 of The Quote Verifier by Ralph Keyes and you’ll find the explanation there. It might be a good idea to run the rest of NEA’s claims through the verifier, too.