Research Catalog

Alton Douglas Rison papers and additions,

Title
Alton Douglas Rison papers and additions, 1971-1987.
Author
Rison, Alton Douglas, 1930-
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 2Offsite
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Box 11Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 16Offsite
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Box 18Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 18Offsite
Box 19Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 409 Box 20Offsite

Details

Description
14.5 lin. ft.
Donor/Sponsor
Schomburg NEH Automated Access to Special Collections Project.
Subjects
Note
  • Posters transferred to the Art and Artifacts Division.
Access (note)
  • restricted.
Source (note)
  • Rison, Alton D.
Biography (note)
  • Alton Rison was principal of Junior High School 117 in Brooklyn, New York from 1971 to 1985 where he implemented a series of modern corporate management methods with the goal of changing "school chaos to achievement."
Processing Action (note)
  • Accessioned
  • Cataloged
Call Number
Sc MG 409
Author
Rison, Alton Douglas, 1930-
Title
Alton Douglas Rison papers and additions, 1971-1987.
Summary
The collection documents Alton Rison's administration at Junior High School 117 and the methods he used to improve teaching methods and increase accountability of student achievement levels in this inner city school in Brooklyn, New York in the 1970's-1980's.
The papers contain faculty memoranda, curricula, school board policies and those designed by Rison, statistics on achievement and percentage of pass/fail students, and documents pertaining to the effectiveness of different teaching systems. Rison kept voluminous records to document the progress of his management methods. His annual "Daily Events" files contain memoranda, schedules, reports for each day of the school year and summer sessions.
Rison also required teachers to prepare monthly progress reports and deposit copies of all examinations with him. Each department was required to produce a "Materials of Management" binder for display in the administrative offices, to allow other teachers at J.H.S. 117 to study their methods and results. Additional material includes daily "Cabinet Meeting" minutes (1982-1984), and yearbooks (1971-1986). The collection also documents the teacher/union/administration clashes that occurred as Rison implemented his plan.
Also in this collection are Rison's writings which include his unpublished autobiography, "From School Chaos to Achievement (A True Story)," and scripts for his unpublished plays such as "In the Principal's Office," "In the Teacher's Lounge," and "Oh Brooklyn, You're My Home!" Photocopies of reviews of his work as a principal and as a playwright and posters from one of his plays complete the collection.
Access
Student discipline reports, grievances and "Principal's Opinions of Teacher's Performance" restricted.
Biography
Alton Rison was principal of Junior High School 117 in Brooklyn, New York from 1971 to 1985 where he implemented a series of modern corporate management methods with the goal of changing "school chaos to achievement." Rison was born in Brooklyn and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1953 from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, and his Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Texas in 1958. He served in the United States Army as a psychiatric social worker and neuropsychiatric technician.
Rison's changes in the school system included requiring teacher accountability through a variety of methods such as classroom inspections and statistics on projected and actual student pass/fail rate and the use of television coverage. He also established a think tank of teachers to create projects for all departments as well as the entire school, a "report card for staff accountability," classroom ratings, and encouraged parents to speak with teachers. Approximately forty schools in inner city areas adopted his method of teaching and administration. Although Rison's methods were controversial, during his tenure, the school rose markedly in academic achievement and student involvement.
Connect to:
Added Title
Schomburg NEH Automated Access to Special Collections Project.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 409
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