W. MacMeekin III
W. MacMeekin III, of Winter Haven, Fla., is an author with five
books to his credit, including “Lincoln Laughing.” (lincolnlaughing.com).
His latest book is “Destination Germany: The Combat Missions
of Lt. Col. Charles A. Felts (USAF) (Ret.), His Crew, the 787th
Bomb Squadron and Fellow Airmen.” Another book, on education,
is in production. A Korean War-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force,
MacMeekin is a former investment manager and educator. And, for
the purpose of this column, he is the chairman of the Boone Middle
School (Haines City, Fla.) Advisory Council. He can be reached by
e-mail at jameswmacmeekin
set up public schools for failure
Aug. 25, 2012
JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
to the start of the commentary
County’s demographics and economic characteristics significantly
impact our embattled educational staff. Boone Middle’s student
population is 24 percent white, 20 percent black and 52 percent
Hispanic. Asians, American Indians and multiracial children account
for the balance. Fifteen percent are students with disabilities,
20 percent are students with limited English proficiency, 50 percent
are children of migrant families and more than 90 percent receive
free or reduced-price meals.
Next, Florida voters approved a state constitutional mandate reducing class sizes, but no additional funding was provided to hire thousands of teachers required to teach the added classes!
Then, the federal Department of Education required that all students with disabilities and other debilitating conditions be included in all regular classes. The effect was to significantly and negatively impact test scores.
there’s more! The DOE then mandated that all students —
as in 100 percent — be proficient in reading, writing, math
and science by 2014. And there’s one more item of some consequence:
Florida recently chopped $3 billion from its education budget before
restoring only $1 billion for the school year that just started.
is no case supporting faulty administrators and faculty. There is
substantial evidence supporting the elimination of Washington, D.C.’s
Department of Education, as is evident by its aforementioned actions.
These federal actions were implemented by Florida’s DOE, which
itself could and should be a candidate for dismissal. Perhaps the
state department could be saved if each school district voted in
favor of retention.
President Jimmy Carter promoted the creation of the federal DOE,
and the idea was passed by a Democrat majority in both the U.S.
House and Senate. The department was created over the objections
of conservatives who claimed that the DOE was an unconstitutional
intrusion of states’ rights. The conservatives were correct.
proof? Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution identifies
the several powers of Congress. Education and schools are not mentioned.
There are 29 amendments to the federal Constitution. Education and
schools are not mentioned. Can it be construed that education —
the most important of all professions — was not worthy of
Of course not! Education was so important that two ordinances were passed immediately before the federal Constitution was adopted.
Land Ordinance of 1785 provided the survey procedures to be used
by each state and township. It stipulated that each township, made
up of 36 sections, must set aside one square-mile section ““...
for the maintenance of public schools.””
was quickly followed by The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which declared,
““Religion, Morality and Knowledge being necessary to
good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means
of education shall ever be encouraged.”
that when liberals and Democrats removed religion and morality from
schools, that, in itself, also was an unconstitutional act. Agreed?