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A Crisis of Honesty

At the May 8th School Board Meeting, Steve Hope made the following statement:

Transparency a key issue at Goshen School Board meeting

“The only thing Mrs. Noe is guilty of is making sure every student has quality resources, a guaranteed literacy curriculum, and outstanding teaching,” Hope read in his statement. “Few have done more to ensure that every third grader in Goshen is reading on grade level than Mrs. Noe. Missing from that video clip was an emphatic statement from Mrs. Noe that we do not teach CRT and that we only concentrate on the Indiana standards. Of course, including those statements would have been truthful and transparent and not feeding the flames of divisive politics.

Dani Messick, Goshen News, Ind.

May 9, 2023

So is it the truth? Here is the full, unedited interview:

At the same board meeting, the referendum was discussed.

"Weddell claimed that Glick, and others who Glick said he spoke with, took his question out of context. “The intent was that we needed to have a review of where our financial stats were, and there could be multiple options that exist in that,” Weddell said. “An option is always going to be a referendum, and I think no one would disagree — that has to be an option. We would be irresponsible of the tax dollars if we do not continually have financial health updates of our district. … We need to be presented the facts, and the meeting in March was the first presentation of some of that information. I have made zero decisions whatsoever about what the future could be. This is still very much a listening phase.” Weddell told him that no decision has been made, and the current referendum remains on the books for over two years. “It was not the intent of my ask, whatsoever that a referendum was the foregone conclusion,” Weddell said. “I’ll be the first to admit, I want to avoid a referendum at all costs, and I have no problem saying that, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be something to be discussed.”

The conversation between Glick and Weddell quickly became heated from there. “I agree that it should be discussed,” Glick said, “My question is merely because we’ve had a crisis of transparency, being portrayed, yes even in the news and publicly, why was it implied that the discussion had not already occurred? I mean, we have an email stating consensus was pretty much reached to move forward on the referendum in January. I would like to know why is it being implied that just coming to us, and why are we hiding it?” Weddell offered a response. “I don’t think we’re hiding a single thing here,” he said.

....

And that was step one, was to have that initial presentation so that we could hear feedback from the community,” Weddell responded. “That has started the conversation. That has started a lot of the conversation. Many of the people in this room are here because of the first part. That is the intention of that. You can continue to believe that there’s already some preconceived decision but that is the furthest from the truth.”

Dani Messick, Goshen News, Ind.

May 9, 2023

No, it did not start the conversation. I started the conversation because I revealed they were trying to cram it through under the radar in executive sessions.

Mr. Hope also stated:

At that point, Hope stepped in, stating that the original email that spawned Weddell’s question came from him, so it should be his responsibility to answer it. He confirmed Weddell’s explanation, stating, “The consensus to move forward was the consensus to move forward with the referendum was one possibility, not the only possibility.”

What is the truth?

On Jan. 17, 2023, an email was sent out by the Superintendent stating:

Executive Session We will have an executive session next Monday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the possibilities about going for or not going for the next referendum. Robin Winston and Pat Terrell from the Winston-Terrell Group will be with us to discuss the ins and outs of school referenda. I will recommend that we hire the Winston-Terrell Group if we decide to go for a referendum. We can also use this time to talk about some other efficiencies at Chandler and Model.

So what was the result of this set of options? On Jan. 24, 2023, the Superintendent stated the following in an email:

Board Members, Thank you for all the questions and conversation yesterday evening [at the executive session]. ...Referendum Although not unanimous, we had consensus on tentatively moving forward with a referendum. I will bring forth a timeline and then we can discuss this in another executive session.

One of the board members told me that this board is bad at communication. That is correct. We have a fundamental crisis of honesty on top of the transparency. In other words, you are being lied to.

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