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
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
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
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
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
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.