K12

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K12 Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 161 reviews

44% Approve of the CEO

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Nate Davis

(18 ratings)

35% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The flexibility of the job that allows me to work from home part of the time is the best feature(in 25 reviews)

  • Except for product deployments, the work/life balance for software developers is good(in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • Lack of communication between participating schools and K12(in 7 reviews)

  • Communication from upper management could be better in certain divisions of the company(in 12 reviews)

41 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Changes needed

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsThe overall mission of helping students is great. The idea of providing choices to students is admirable. Work time flexibility is nice.

    ConsThe restructuring has been a disaster. Meetings are more like tug of war battles than productive work environments. If upper management figures out someone will work, instead of rewarding the employee, they assign so much work it causes burn out . Some of the strongest and hardest people to get along with were placed in the new division, product management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProduct Management is out of control on power trips. Define roles instead of letting people fight for positions amongst themselves. The only people who are going to stay are the loudest and bossiest. That is not going to lead to a well balanced company work pool. Look out for the people who just want to do their jobs and not fight for positions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Great teachers and curriculum working 24/7 with low pay, wrapped up in unacceptable on-boarding and isolation.

    Virtual Teacher (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat teachers and curriculum.

    ConsThere is too much work accompanied by low pay and ridiculously long hours. There is no balance of life and work if the work is to be accomplished. There are more clerical duties as compared to teaching and helping students and their families.

    The level of technical knowledge required to manage the classroom and troubleshoot computer issues at the same time as teaching is a sad state of affairs. Compiling and recording an unimaginable about of data with a large class size was certainly not in the interview or a sound teaching idea in general.

    The interview questions of whether I could send and receive emails did not prepare me for the amount of real computer skills required, although I had more than that to offer. The on-boarding was left to my own wits, K12 supplied training, that I will mention soon, and another mentor fellow teacher that was already swamped with their own mountain of work.

    The K12 training was supplied, but the first sessions were offered when we had no idea what they were talking about because of computer issues or a true idea of how this system would work because lack of experience in that environment. The teaching skills from the brick and mortar classroom to an online classroom do not transfer in the beginning days until that experience can be achieved by trial and error. Training was offered at the same time we were to meet with families to set up schedules of conferences. It was the most anxiety producing time of my life and I am a seasoned and good teacher.

    When the time came to actually meet the students and families in the BBC it was trial by error or success. It was like being thrown in at the deep end of the pool and being expected to swim or drown. When I did mention the lack of training and on-boarding I was told by other faculty that this is how it is and your experience is no different or to be regarded as it will not change. In other words, suck it up and just do it because there is no help in sight. They are right. There is no help, just more work. If you go too far to the top to complain the vindictive spirit of the head administrator can sting. If there is too much talk of wanting to have it change you might not be looked on as a team player because, "we are teachers and we do it for the kids". Since when is wanting a good work environment not good for the kids?

    The management right above me is stretched to the limit and although they are sympathetic and kind, could not change anything about my experience. If they could they would have. They have no real power. They are caught between their corporate pressure to produce data and gaining more students than caring for the making of life long learners and teachers who are overworked and underpaid. The head of the school is only interested in data and numbers and how many students are retained. They are not interested in meeting new faculty or going out of their way to assist them. I don't feel that they think that is their job. Their job is data. Data to them is more important than people.

    The employee handbook does not match the provided contract or what is agreed upon in the interview. This virtual school as a part of a state public school does not match the same calendar time required and is far off that pay scale. They have taken away the internet stipend given to the teachers to work from home. Yes, we get a paycheck and healthcare benefit, but taking in account the experience and the education that these wonderful teachers bring to their job, it is a poor way to be treated.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your wonderful teachers and staff with what they deserve. Without them you have no school, you will just have students with no one, but a bunch of data. Just because you can get away with it doesn't make it right. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. That would take you a long way.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Interesting!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWorking with the children and parents

    ConsNot being able to negotiate the pay!!!!

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Could be a good thing - but it is a teacher's nightmare!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMany resources, good teachers, nice families.

    ConsTraining for teachers is horrific and incomplete. Teachers are only given 1/4 of what they need to know before teaching. It is even worse when this incomplete training ends weeks after school starts and students have to wait four weeks to get a welcome from their new teacher. Lack of communication between participating schools and K12. Some students were not switched into proper class. Instructors have no clear classroom and can view all students enrolled in the school system (FERPA issue anyone?). Impossible to know when new students start. Long chit-chatty virtual meetings that have a lot of content not needed by certain teachers outside of that particular region. It seems that the trainers,the school liason, and the teacher supervisors are not on the same page. No one seemed to know the rules and expectation for my particular school district. Staff joked about how steep the learning curve was for new teachers - it seems like sick joke now. The only true help I received was from the only other teacher working for the school district. Total nightmare!

    Advice to Senior ManagementClean up training and on-board new teachers well before the school year starts. New teachers deserve the time to start the school year off properly. Staff meetings need to be by state and then a general meeting for all staff that covers k12 business. No one wants to sit for hours listening to rules that one region has to follow when it does not apply to others. Stop joking about how stressful it is for new teachers and actually fix the issues that make it stressful. If the trainers could have taught me what my peer teacher was showing me before I was assigned a class I would be singing a different tune.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Management at all levels

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsThe work / life balance was good.

    There are some really good people there working in the trenches, but they all feel under-appreciated.

    They have a great product idea and great potential. It's unfortunate they won't ever realize this potential because of the management problems.

    ConsIt's a real Good 'Ol Boys network and they are fiercely protective of each other. They look out for each other, instead of looking out for people working for them.

    Most management I ran across were incompetent and lacked basic management skills. Promotion opportunities are limited at best.

    Management always talks about appreciating employees, but then they never back it up.

    Most good people eventually leave because they are tired of not being appreciated.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would tell them to adjust their management structure and move people to positions they are better suited for, but they wouldn't listen anyways.

    Accepting feedback isn't exactly their strong suit.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Great Curriculum and idea for families, awful place for teachers

    Teacher (Current Employee)

    ProsWork from home and help promote a valuable alternative form of education

    ConsSince you get the 'priveledge' of working from home it is expected that you work 24/7 12 months a year for a salary that is 30% below average beginning teacher salary.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire more teachers. Don't expect 1 person to do a full time secretary/data analyst job and a full time teaching job. Treat your employees with respect as professionals who put students first. Stop focusing on the bottom line numbers and money and pay attention to the families and students.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    IT heading downhill fast! Years of progress being quickly undone.

    IT Professional (Current Employee)

    ProsGood people working tails off to improve the company and student experience.

    ConsMajor budget cuts have decimated QA, reporting and IT ops teams while leaving the development team fat (development run by disconnected longtime CIO crony). CIO states system operations, data reporting and quality are critical while these areas were hit hardest in recent layoffs. Expect to support 24x7 systems with staff barely able to keep up with business hours work. Poor environment for talented, committed, underpaid, and overworked IT pros. Join K12 development team if you want 6 hour workdays, minimal accountability and your nights and weekends off.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOpen eyes.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Disconnected and very unorganized company

    Teacher (Former Employee) Grand Rapids, MI

    ProsAbility to work from home

    ConsMost communication is done all via emails which can work in many cases, but not when the employees don't answer emails or know their job. Most of my issues with K12 stems from the lack of organization or other people understanding their roles/duties. As new employee at K12, I was hired as a teacher and then told to watch some training modules and do some of the readings and was expected to know what I was doing. I was promised a mentor - that didn't happen. The amount work dumped onto a teacher is ridiculous. I spent 12 or more hours per day doing work that a computer program could do (pulling data and makings list of kids at-risk in learning or attendance).
    I spent nearly three weeks trying to get my separation with the company straight. Being that I was worked from a home office, I wanted to make sure that I would get the shipping labels sent and I still haven't gotten them. The other thing that surprised me was when my new employer requested my finger prints, K12 told me that I needed to pay a fee to sit down with a HR representative and review my file which would take weeks to do. Need less to say, I could not start my new teaching job and had to pay $80 for another set of prints that K12 wouldn't release, even though I paid for those too.
    My last and most profound complaint about K12 is the amount of students assigned to a teacher. I had nearly 300 kids assigned to me. There is no quality learning going on. There can't be when one teacher has nearly hundreds of kids. The thing that made me decide to look for another job was when we had our State standardize testing. The kids that didn't take the test at the facilities throughout our state, we were told we must get those kids tests. They actually had labeled emails from corporate "Hello Stalkers" and told us the ways we needed to located and get these kids tests. They encouraged us to use the fake Facebook page they created to catch untested kids/parents, use Twitter, contact their emergency contacts (grandparents, aunts/uncles), and lastly was to show up on their doorstep and test the kids right then and there. The company needed 95% of the kids tested otherwise they lose funding. Harassment was over the top and ethically wrong. I had families calling me yelling and some crying about how K12 was worse than bill collectors.
    Overall, great concept but horribly run and work load is not ideal for good teaching or learning. I don't recommend this company unless you don't have an issue with long hours for little pay.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate with staff and make sure they understand their duties. More training on communication and procures might to be good place to begin. As for the educators of K12, let them teach smaller class sizes. Too many parents have been complaining about how the TV ads say the learning is individualized and more one-on-one communication. That's untrue and impossible for a teacher of nearly 300 kids.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    GREAT starter job, but that's pretty much all I can say is positive

    State Enrollment Consultant (Enrollment Advisor) (Current Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsGreat work/life balance. When you leave work for the day, you've left work for the day. It's a relatively young work environment. The people you work with will make the day go by much much faster. The pay is great considering you don't even need a college degree to be an SEC or whatever they are calling it now.

    ConsWhere to begin. Most of the supervisors and management LACK a college degree. No accountability for lagging, dipping employee morale. Commission structure has dropped drastically within the last year. There is a black-out period from July-September. DON'T DARE USE A SICK DAY AT THIS TIME. BE FOREWARNED. Practically ZERO room for growth. It seems to be a sinking ship.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart to care about employee morale and the quality of your work. They've taken on this false initiative that quality counts, but at the end of the day, schedules are still based on how many approvals you've brought in for the quarter. I'm sorry. You can't have high quality and high numbers. It's one or the other and as soon as they accept that, employees might feel as if there is clear messaging. Also, stop blaming the enrollment team for losses suffered during Q1! This is the first time in company history they've reported losses and I can only imagine why. The enrollment managers don't have any clue as to what they are doing and that's messaged down to the supervisors. The chain of command is horrific.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Not a great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Decent work/life balance
    - Some interesting projects in pipeline

    There isn't much micromanagement at the company. You can work from home if you feel more comfortable doing that.

    Cons- Dishonesty
    - Lack of company values, ethics
    - No clear opportunities for advancement
    - Limited benefits
    - Many 'difficult' personalities in important positions

    As others have said, the focus of this company seems to be solely its bottom line. There seems to be little concern for employee happiness or well-being. There are also a lot of very difficult people in pivotal positions. These individuals are hard to work with and can be aggressive and unhelpful.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on improving values - honesty, integrity and dependability. Try to value employees, they will work harder for the company and appreciate it.

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