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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Minnetonka School Board Elections

Tonka Focus:

MINNETONKA SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS: Filing for the office opens on July 3, 2007 and closes on July 17 at the District Service Center. Election day is November 6 (same as general election). Four of seven seats are open, those now held by Judy Erdahl, Cal Litsey, Peggy Stefan, and William Wenmark. A primary election is required on September 11 if 9 or more candidates file. The June 27 Star Tribune West Metro section has general information here, though specifics about Minnetonka aren't included. For more information, call the District Service Center at 952-401-5000. Traditionally, sitting school board members and Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson are happy to talk with potential candidates; their contact information is here. Upcoming school board meetings: Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. Two meetings in August, on the 2nd and 16th at 7:00 p.m.; study session on August 16 at 5:00 p.m. The Minnetonka School Board meeting agendas and minutes are available on the district's web site.


William Wenmark gave $500.00 to Minnesotans for Marriage in 2006. Minnesotans for Marriage is an offshoot of the Minnesota Family Council - and were started to promote the Bachmann amendment.

Wenmark was also the most outspoken supporter of creationist school board member, Dave Eaton, who resigned shortly after the 2005 elections.

From a Teacher Magazine Discussion.

Response From: William Henry Wenmark
02/19/2007 1:58PM
As a member of a Public School Board and a life spent in health care I have often shared my thoughts of the connections of the two professions...Physician and Teacher...one cares for the human function and strives to serve to treat any transgression of a human disease or injury...the other cares for the mind and its development so the two if they are healthy allow the human to thrive and prosper. I have said part of a simple oath we have in medicine is "I am the advocate of the patient and above all else will do no harm." A teacher...I will be the advocate of the student and above all else do no harm. The Principal...I will be the advocate of the teacher and student and above all else do no harm. The Superintendent/Board...I will be the advocate of American Public Education and above all else do not harm.
I also suggest there is an ethical boundary in Public Education that should not be crossed. Teach the student how to think...not what to think...the Public School Classroom should not be places of confined indoctrination…i.e..do no harm. There will be ample room for that to happen in colleges and universities where the student freely chooses to attend.
Response From: William Henry Wenmark
02/20/2007 12:18PM
Suplimental:
The Medical phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the Patient and above all else do no harm.
The Educator phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the student and above all else do no harm.
The Principal phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocated of the teacher and the student and above all else do no harm.
The Administrator/Board phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the School District and above all else do no harm.
Would it not be great to have our politicians take an oath to Public Education?
The Politicians Oath: I will forever and always be the advocate of Public Education in America and above all else do no harm.
Enjoy...thanks for letting me share.
Response From: Anthony Cody, NBCT
02/20/2007 12:41PM
William,
Thank you for your cogent contributions.
One idea you suggest really has me wondering. You wrote "Teach the student how to think...not what to think." Boy, that is a head scratcher. How about the controversy over evolution? Do we follow dominant community beliefs? Or the consensus of scientists? And how about moral values? Do we teach respect for authority?
Response From: Shannon Childcare Director
02/21/2007 11:40PM
I do agree with the oath, very much! I would just like to seemore mention of enhancing indivudality of students and creating spontanious teachable moments to farther influnce their learning
Response From: William H. Wenmark
04/08/2007 8:08PM
Anthony, Shannon,
It has been some time since my last visit. Thank you both for your remarks. The concept of educating the student to think is framed by the knowledge of the adolescent prefrontal cortex, which we must remember is a blank slate as to basic data sets. So there are considerable amounts of information that will be considered developmental. During this process various elements of society that contain controversy, the open mind orientation to education is important. I believe we need to create critical thinkers (liberal arts). During the pre-frontal cortex development it is a critical to understand, if planned, one could seriously indoctrinate and not educate. Yet, when the student is prepared well the young adolescent will be more likely be open minded...but not necessarily mindless. The consensus of scientists is not necessarily scientific fact. It is more likely just a group that agrees to some common dimension. That dimension may have variables that would have others who would look at this same material and conclude another way. Authority is more likely respected in the educated mine then to the contrary. Moral values as well are more likely adopted by the educated mind. But I understand this is not 100%, after all we are still human.
Shannon your comments are very valuable and much of what would occur when you expand the discussion of this theory. Differentiated learning communities are essential to accomplishing the spontaneous teachable moments. Blind un-yielding standard drive education, while important, can have problems addressing these moments and frames of time when the pre-frontal cortex has a brain burst of development. BTW...this occurs at random times between the ages of 10-27 (Dr. David Walsh).
Once again...thanks so much...I think I would enjoy a fine dinner of discussion with both of you.


Teaching the "controversy" about evolution, is code for giving equal time to Intelligent Design Creationism.

10 comments:

bqjohnson said...

Is this guy a doctor (or a quack)? Looks like he says he is. Where does he practice?
I found this see page 15 on:

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/swkly/2003-04/sw804.pdf

Patty said...

Heads up people! This guy is a kook. I have watched the Minnetonka School Board meetings, and he is in a class all by himself. I have always assumed he was a doctor, as he refers to himself as one. Interesting if he is not.

Peppermint Patty

Headsup said...

Is this the same guy who was afraid/opposed to IBO and UNESCO?

Patty said...

Not sure. Remind what IBO and UNESCO issue is all about.

Headsup said...

I see this site called tonkafocus.org has been watching the issues. Go there to learn more about IB. But I found this too:

1. May 19 school board meeting summary
All members present.
Barbara Ashley spoke during public comments to note that International Baccalaureate at MHS was regarded very favorably as evidence of academic excellence by admissions officers when her daughter visited U of Michigan, Northwestern, Madison, USC and other schools.

Before the board voted 5-2 (with Mr. Eaton and Mr. Wenmark voting against) to approve textbooks for IB, Mr. Wenmark apologized to the public for not doing his job when he voted for IB in November 2003. He explained that he was excited about Dr. Ann Swanson's description of the new ideas possible with IB and thought it was "absolutely what we want" but now he sees that IB requires us to "internationalize" our curriculum so he regrets he agreed and now feels that IB differs from the district's vision statement. http://www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/district/vision/index.htm

Sounds like world peace is not in his vocabulary.

bqjohnson said...

Wow. Good information. It's important to know about an elected official's peronal agenda. This is a platform I do not support. Tell your friends in Minnetonka.

surfer girl said...

Is this the same guy that jumps in Lake Minnetonka on January 1 every year? If so, your right, he is a kook. I went a couple of years ago and the guy in charge (Wenmark?) talked and talked and talked about himself. A real ego maniac.

bqjohnson said...

Looks like it - didn't know the event existed. http://www.startribune.com/blogs/airmass/?p=140

Headsup said...

A friend of mine just sent me this link from CITY PAGES - more on what I wrote about a couple of days ago: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/178176.htm

Here is an excerpt: "The anti-Christian critique was brought to the forefront during a January school board discussion about the required reading for the "Theory of Knowledge" course. Objections were raised about including Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World without the inclusion of a book to counter it. In the end, two board members, Dave Eaton and Bill Wenmark, voted against the book list, but the entire board voted 5 to 2 in support of it....

....OK, the program is anti-Christian because there is a book on the values of skepticism but no books that promote the value of gullibility? The program is anti-American because it presents European history from the perspective of Europeans rather than from the Americans — and, therefore, suggests that other countries may be just as good as America?"

Read the whole link - quite enlightening.

George Geoff said...

Bill Wenmark is WAY beyond a kook and a wacko. I have been watching him and monitoring his every move.

Look to these sites to decide if you should wish to call him a PHD -I heard from a Minntonka friend that he never even went to college - but it seems HE thinks he should practice medicine:

So is he a doctor?:
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/swkly/2003-04/sw804.pdf

http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?24991349254

http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?24990243868

http://www.city-data.com/elec/elec-DEEPHAVEN-MN.html

I'm telling you this guy is not sure who he is - you should be aware. Bill Wenmark - who is he?