Preface to the African/African-American Baseline Essays
The Portland Public Schools’ Board of Education is committed to quality education for all students. Our School District is staffed by individuals who are committed to excellence in education. The African-American Baseline Essays are but one part of a larger product to be developed to fulfill the Board of Education’s goal:
…to develop in all students a better understanding and appreciation of the history, culture, and contributions to society of different ethnic groups and cultures.
The Baseline Essays provide information about the history, culture, and contributions of Africans and African-Americans in the disciplines of Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Music and should be used by teachers and other District staff as a reference and resource just as adopted textbooks and other resources are used.
Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, lll (an educator and psychologist) who has gained national and international recognition for his work with large urban school districts in the areas of student achievement, special education, and psychological development, has been primary consultant to the African-American Baseline Essay project. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, and Association of Black Psychologists, and currently holds the Fuller E. Calloway Chair at Georgia State University.
Each of the Baseline Essays has been authored by an individual who is both knowledgeable about the specific discipline and recognized as an expert on African and African-American history. In addition, the essays have been circulated and reviewed by many individuals and groups (i.e., the Desegregation Monitoring Advisory Committee, the Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Task Force, Curriculum Department Subject Matter Specialists, and the African-American Curriculum Consultants).
The Curriculum Department, through its Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Office and the Curriculum Department and Services Unit, will support the inservicing of the African-American Baseline Essays with:
staff inservice sessions
video tape presentations by the authors of the Baseline Essays
As Superintendent of the Portland Public School District, I commend the Curriculum Department and the African-American community for working together to finalize the African-American Baseline Essays. Special thanks are due to Ms. Carolyn M. Leonard, our Coordinator of Multicultural/Multiethnic Education, for her professional dedication to the effort. These essays have already gained recognition in other school districts and I am confident that our staff will use the information to work toward full implementation of the Board of Education goal.
— Dr. Matthew Prophet Superintendent,
Portland Public Schools