It’s been nearly a month since Jim Burke announced that his long-running CATEnet listserv, an e-mail forum for California English teachers, was heading into early retirement and it’s taken me that long to get over the news.
Burke, a veteran English teacher at Burlingame High School in the San Francisco area, started the listserv nearly 16 years ago to foster discussion, professionalism, and collaboration among his California colleagues. I know that he also attracted many list members from around the country. CATEnet has been required reading for me throughout my 12 years of covering reading policy and curriculum for Ed Week. And it was always a great way to reach out to teachers to find out how policy was affecting classrooms.
Now it’s back under new management, and educators can sign on by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under Burke, the listserv had periods of little activity, but I remember some very heady discussions and debates about English/language arts curriculum and pedagogy, as well as policy implications.
Burke is still providing an online community for English/language arts educators through his website and blog, the English Companion. There are some pretty interesting discussions going on as well at the English Companion Ning, which has a couple of thousand members.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.