New York City Department of Education

  schools.nyc.gov
  schools.nyc.gov

New York City Department of Education Reviews

Updated October 12, 2014
Updated October 12, 2014
307 Reviews
3.2
307 Reviews
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Carmen Farina
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • The fringe benefits and the ability to make a difference in peoples lives (in 13 reviews)

  • GREAT JOB GREAT BENEFITS always a place to move up career wise (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Job expectations are ever increasing and little to no support is offered (in 5 reviews)

  • The morale in many schools is at an unprecedented low (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

56 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Dysfunctional System, Vindictive Administrators

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Classroom Teacher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Classroom Teacher in New York, NY

    I worked at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are fairly good compared to many other school districts. You do get more vacation times.

    Cons

    Ugh, where do I begin? Everyone always told me before I started that teaching in NYC you'd face "some tough kids." And they were right -- I met kids who were gang members, gang molls, prostitutes, drug dealers, grand larcenists, the whole 9 yards. At the same time, any teacher in NYC will tell you that the toughness of the kids is NOTHING compared to the day-in, day-out meanspiritedness of many of the admins. NYC school administrators are cynical, unprofessional, see teachers as cheap labor, and are determined to drive pretty much anyone out of the classroom before their fifth year. They get financial incentives for every U rating and every discontinuance. They go to workshops about the best way to "get rid" of a teacher, from observing the teacher before Christmas break in the last period to interviewing students and getting the students to spread rumors about the teacher.

    No one ever leave the NYC school system because of the kids. Everyone I know left because of the abusive management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can't give advice to management. They won't listen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Tech consultants get all of the bureaucracy and none of the perks.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    For the most part, managers are decent people. Although the exceptions to that rule can be pretty awful. Co-workers generally pleasant. No compulsory overtime. Nice Brooklyn location. A good interim gig if you treat it as such.

    Cons

    If you are interested in leading edge, user-focused or responsive... anything, look elsewhere. Working as a developer, web producer or other tech person at DIIT (The DOE's hardware and software support network) is all about doing things the way they've always been done, which is to say politically and with no concern for the people using the products.

    It's not a culture that is kind to innovators, which is tragic. Meanwhile, parents lack the resources and information they need while educators are drowning in oppressive levels of paperwork. Better software and a more user-focused web presence could make like better for them, but the voices advocating for those users (and there are some) never carry as much weight as the ones who agonize over top-down, politically-driven 'initiatives' that are of no concern to anyone outside the bubble of the organization.

    What's even more cynicism-inducing is that the smart, well-meaning people tasked with pushing through these very same worthless political projects know that they're worthless and political but also know that to keep their jobs, they must continue to prioritize them in order to be allowed to occasionally nibble at the edges of the big problems.

    Unfortunately, all that edge-nibbling never adds up to real change, even as it constantly promises to. Something always happens, or as is more often the case, doesn't happen. There's a change of Chancellors, and everybody goes even deeper into fear mode. Suddenly every ill-conceived office and moribund 'initiative' instituted under the last leadership clamors for its own web presence in order to justify its existence. The sites get built but the public couldn't care less because more information about people's offices was never what they wanted in the first place.

    And so it goes. Who ultimately suffers? The children of New York. But so few of them work as managers at Tweed, so they don't seem to matter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."
    --Lily Tomlin

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    It's a lot of work for little recognition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Social Studies Teacher in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Social Studies Teacher in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Summers off
    Doing good for society
    Teaching those less fortunate

    Cons

    Society doesn't respect what you do
    Limited parental support
    very low salary for the amount of work and effort put in
    Pressure to pass students

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember the challenges of the classroom

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Many Demands and Not Enough Support

    Current Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Teacher in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with students and watching them grow. Wonderful colleagues that share a common goal in doing our best to serve the community. Challenging yet rewarding work with a fairly consistent work schedule.

    Cons

    Lack of administrative support and communication. Unrealistic demands due to lack of time and resources. Teachers are set up to fail so then administrators do not have to take the blame.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees. Understand that teachers are there to give back to the community by doing a very difficult job. Do not try to make our jobs impossible, be realistic and supportive.

  6.  

    Nice place to serve but no place to make a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Support in Bronx, NY
    Current Employee - Technical Support in Bronx, NY

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you show up on time every day, you'll be regarded a hero and left alone for the most part. Students provide endless opportunities to learn something new. Decent place to experiment with and learn different technologies in a non-mission-critical environment.

    Cons

    You shall be paid by position, not by performance, therefore expect little to no incentive. Absolutely no bonuses. Advancement is stunted by unions, contracts, and other red tape as is customary with working for the government. Staff and administration often get caught up in power struggles, whereby students are generally the ones left to suffer in the wake. Outdated ideologies and methods. Technology is generally an afterthought and adoption is typically slow. Efficiency is paid with lip-service then punished behind the scenes. Funding follows politics, not necessity. Inflexible vacation time. Large, segmented organization. Every move requires a paper trail. The left hand never knows what the right is doing. Most real work gets done after students leave in case you were looking forward to 3:00

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Faculty and students who succeed in this organization do so in spite of, not because of this organizations broad, over-reaching policies. Learn to recognize and reward that kind of leadership instead of punishing and pushing it elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Special Education Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Former Employee - Special Education Teacher in Brooklyn, NY

    I worked at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The New York City public school system offers very competitive pay compared to the rest of the country; the benefits were decent and extremely cheap, though I found GHI to offer few carriers.

    Cons

    Very little opportunity for growth, besides within one particular discipline. Every single semester there is a new "in vogue" way to structure and teach special education. I felt like there was no consistency that would foster true excellence in the classroom for teachers. The way this is integrated into the classroom is different in every school but my school was known as one of the better to work for in Brooklyn and it was still a constant frustration. I felt like I spent my entire life working; the demands on teachers are extremely difficult, especially since we have to relearn how to teach/reinvent the wheel every year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you institute a new program or initiative, don't abandon it just because it doesn't work immediately. Try to stick with it and make modifications rather than a total overhaul. Also, give your teachers autonomy - we are, after all, in the classrooms every day and we know what works and what doesn't. Sometimes the key to effective management is simply asking the right questions to the right team members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Be very careful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guidance Counselor in Bronx, NY
    Current Employee - Guidance Counselor in Bronx, NY

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Love working with kids and helping them grow

    Cons

    Principals, Superintendents, AP's. The entire system is built on all of the above stepping over people to look good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen instead of always speaking. Ask for help when you need it. Give credit when it is due.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Special Education Teacher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    1. Good benefits
    2. Decent salary
    3. Job security (kind of)
    4. Working with students

    Cons

    Leadership in most NYC schools leaves a lot to be desired. Filled with favoritism, nepotism, etc. If they don't like you for personal reasons, better start looking for a new place to work. Either become a brown-noser or get lost. Hard work doesn't really pay off as you are just criticized for small things, never recognized for anything good. I could go on and on...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    How about some recognition? Thanks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Substitute Paraprofessional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at New York City Department of Education

    Pros

    I love helping children and having steady work hours.

    Cons

    You have little support and respect from of the administration and some staff. The pay is not steady for example if the school does not have enough money to pay you, you will not receive a paycheck that pay period. You will feel over work most of the time. Their is not a set agenda for paraprofessionals so you will have to "wing it".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Mismanaged bureaucracy which tries to keep the lower class in a cycle of poverty

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Teacher in Bronx, NY

    I worked at New York City Department of Education full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Other dedicated teachers, creativity, children.

    Cons

    1. administrators with limited classroom experience
    2. paper work
    3. lack of supplies
    4. unrealistic expectations of teachers (we are not allowed to have a life outside of the classroom)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your teachers, rather than more technology teach teachers how to use it. Just as we need to differentiate with students our training needs to be differentiated as well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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