For parents with children in public school, and who feel up to the challenge, here’s a two-part trick question for you disguised as a poll.

Are public schools—

A. Excellent?

B. Pretty good, but need improvement?

C. Not good. Fix them and soon?

OK. Thank you all for participating. Every reader responded, and the results just came in to me by special electronic messenger.

10% voted for A

15% voted for C

75% voted for B

The first deception was that important choice “D” was left out. If included, it would have changed everything and radically tested the soft assumption that federally-controlled and tax-payer funded public schools are the only reasonable academic choice. Here’s choice “D”:

“If you could choose, would you prefer quality private schools exactly as do most Washington DC federal officials and very many public school teachers as well?”

Your replies are in, and it’s not surprising the lines lit up with “Yes!” to “D.” Because it was purposely rigged, this poll, as are too many, was badly misleading. It also pointedly ignored an even larger challenge, namely, how we ought to be thinking about the public schools’ many pathologies and how they help contribute directly to families that are unraveling and a national culture coming apart at the seams.

Trick number two was the failure to ask by what standard you would use to make your choice. Suppose I had prefaced the original three-choice poll this way: “Given that mandatory government education in the U.S. has the following goals:

NaN. Dis-teaching math and reading by using speculative, anti-phonics “whole language” and “fuzzy math” curricula; NaN. Teaching that self-esteem is more important than academic achievement; NaN. Automatic annual “social promotion” even if students don’t pass; NaN. Alienating children from their parents’ moral values and encouraging sex experimentation; NaN. Teaching tolerance of everything except Christianity; NaN. Teaching that Americans are the worst energy hogs and biggest menace to world ecology; NaN. Teaching that God does not exist with the result that logically life has no meaning; NaN. Teaching in such a way to make students less politically and economically informed, and thus more apt, as adults, to fall for government and political propaganda that promises to care for you 24/7, womb to tomb.

Suppose that reality-check had been the preface? I hope nearly every one of you would have been wise enough to reply that the schools are doing an “excellent” job. Excellent, that is, if the goal is to indoctrinate youth with an agenda for cultural suicide, the frightful consequences of which are already being highlighted for us every night on the evening news and which assault us daily as we do our best to navigate around the chaos of the values-breakdown in the public square. And we pay good money to support the biggest cause of this cultural deterioration—dysfunctional public education. Not good.

If you’ve been uneasy about the public schools before reading this, and are even more so now, my serious hope is that you’ll read The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Dr. Bruce N. Shortt, a graduate of Harvard Law School who has seen the light. Click on the link to purchase online or call American Vision at 1-800-628-9460 to get your copy. You’ll want to have a family conference after reading it.