REMEMBERING DARLENE GOODMAN, CO-FOUNDER OF NAPTAby Karen Horwitz
Searching for other teachers disturbed about the corruption in education, I “met” Darlene Goodman online. Not only had her district deprived her of a living for speaking out, they went after the union representative who tried to help her. She eagerly helped start the first organization that would reveal the best kept secret that was destroying our schools and our democracy - White Chalk Crime.
In the summer of 2002, I flew to New Mexico to meet Darlene. I needed to meet her face to face; this mission was too important. I also met the union representative, one of few who didn’t know they were only to pretend to help teachers; the unions service the corrupt administrators, not the teachers who dare speak out.
Over the years she took on more roles and wasn’t able to regularly help me. But her spirit remained a bulwark that kept me going and still does. Our last communication, in December of 2020, was about a month before she died. She said in reference to the mess our country was and is in: “Of course, to me, and to you I am sure, education is part of the solution, but we know that schools do not want solutions; they prefer ignorant, uninformed citizens….”
She mentioned that she would be 78 next month, and expressed hope for peace before her life was over. She didn’t make it to her birthday. When I heard she had died on 1/10/21, I just knew that the 1/6/21 Insurrection had broken her heart. She cared deeply about our nation as she had about her students. As hard as she had tried to spread her goodness, evil won that day and it was hard to maintain hope knowing the truth about our schools that we had tried to expose for 18 years, had a chance of being heard. We came together because we knew this country would fail with these schools. And it has. Losing my career and not being believed has been painful. Watching our democracy implode when it did not have to do so is excruciating. At the same time, because of that I got to know Darlene. I consider myself lucky. She was a treasure.
Here are expressions from some of her former students and others who praised her: Tributes