How Valid Are the Portland Baseline Essays?

Martel, Erich
December 1991
Educational Leadership;Dec91/Jan92, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p20
This article discusses the flaws of the African-American Baseline Essays (AABE), a teacher resource consisting of historical surveys of African and African-American contributions in the field of Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Music and Science and Technology. The Social Studies essay is a survey of African and African-American history. The AABE might be termed Egyptcentric as approximately 30 percent of the content is devoted to ancient Egypt. Linguistic, pictographic and archaeological evidence point to a Saharan origin of the ancient Egyptians from the west, not from the south. There is no evidence that Egypt was a forerunner or a major factor in the formation of Mesopotamian civilization, since the beginnings of the two are approximately contemporaneous. Inaccuracies in the AABE include both facts and interpretations. In the Social Studies essay, almost all the dates associated with human evolutionary stages are incorrect according to current evidence.


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