“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” Falsely attributed to Joseph Goebbels.
"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.” - Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
For more on both of these quotes, see https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels.
“Failing public schools” is a sweeping statement that implies no public school is doing its job.
But nobody ever turns it around and says much about failing parents or bad peer pressure. If a family constantly has the TV on, how well can a student do homework? If peers constantly bad-mouth school, how much grit does it take to ask questions in class? If a home has lots of lead contamination, how much can schools do to increase a student’s cognitive ability?
I think the “failing schools” mantra is pushed by those who don’t want to pay taxes to educate all the children and those who want to make a profit by taking away students from the public schools.
Well, my parents were products of public schools. My wife and I are products of public schools. Our two children are products of public schools. Our grandchildren are products of public schools. Two of these are products of Japanese public schools, but they are welcome as visitors to U.S. public schools.
If public schools have failed, it is not teaching enough civics. We have to look no farther than “president” Donald Trump to learn how badly private schools have taught civics.
See also “Charter School Achievement: Hype vs. Evidence”.