School District of Philadelphia

  www.phila.k12.pa.us
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School District of Philadelphia Reviews

Updated July 25, 2014
Updated July 25, 2014
88 Reviews

2.5
88 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr
William R. Hite Jr
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Opportunities for Professional development (in 6 reviews)

  • good benefits, grate co-workers (teachers) (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • There is very little support from administration, many of whom in any other business would be considered incompetant and racist (in 3 reviews)

  • selling off their responsibility for failing schools to charter schools and for-profit companies (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

33 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Not a job but an adventure in Urban education

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30 in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    A chance to really help those that are in desperate need, Summers off,

    Cons

    Extremely difficult job working with under educated students and families. There is little or no family support given to my students. I work in one of the inner city high schools

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to not only educate the students but educate the parents and guardians on how to be supportive of their children. Get through to them that education is the only way for them to get out of their situation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    As a Special Education Teacher, the job is very difficult, but rewarding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    The starting salary is very competitive for newer teachers, but much less comptetitive for veteran teachers. The benefits are very good. Every new teacher receives support from a Consulting Teacher.

    The career prospects for Special Educations Teachers are pretty good, especially if you teach students in a Complex Support Needs program---Autistic Support, Life Skills Support, or Multiple Disabilities Support. Teaching AS, LSS, or MDS is nice because there is minimal pressure related to standardized testing; principals mainly care that your paperwork is done and that students are making progress toward their IEP goals and objectives. Many principals will let teachers of AS, LSS, and MDS "do what works" for their students. The District is not losing many students with significant disabilities to charter schools.

    The District provides professional development for teachers, but a lot of the sessions you have to attend on your own time. Most of the teachers are caring and dedicated.

    As a teacher, you have the opportunity to make a noticeable difference in a child's life. On your best days, the job is very rewarding.

    Cons

    Budget cuts have made life really difficult. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars a year on supplies, but the District only provided a $100 reimbursement for the 2013-2014 school year.

    Some of the kids have out-of-control behavior no matter what you do. Teachers often have to break up fights. Dealing with some of the parents can be a headache.

    There is a lot of pressure on regular education teachers to improve test scores and academic achievement because the District is losing so many students to charter schools. Some teachers have classes with 30+ kids and 4 or 5 students with significant behavior problems.

    The climate varies widely from school to school. Each principal/administrator has a lot of autonomy as to how he/she runs his/her school. Some are hands-on, some are hands-off. Some are nice and supportive, others are mean and dictatorial. The best administrators are those who are nice, supportive, and hands-on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep pressuring the Commonwealth to adequately fund the School District. Take better care of the buildings.

    Stop speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You can't say that you value teachers and then ask teachers to take a 10% to 13% paycut.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Pros

    Teaching is all about the children. Each day you are met with smiles and anticipation for what is about to unfold. Sure, there are some serious trying times, but in the end these kids keep calling you "Mom."

    Cons

    Placement security is probably the most stress related issue in the school district, besides the low pay. One year you are teaching one grade, then suddenly you are assigned another grade the following year. The return on your classroom investment $$$ is lost. You can't dress your 6th grade classroom with Kindergarten paraphernalia. Remember, this investment comes out of your pocket....$250.00 from district doesn't reimburse the whole amount.

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  5.  

    Ok job with too many chiefs and not enough indians

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

    Pros

    Decent, above average salary
    Clean, well-maintained building
    Opportunities for Professional development

    Cons

    Many layoffs on a regular basis
    Many organizational reorgs
    Too many disgruntled, lazy workers who are close to retirement and refuse to work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    I have been working in the School District of Philadelphia for the past 5 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Educator  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Educator in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    Having summers and holidays off is very nice, and something to look forward to. The school day ends a little after 3:00 p.m., which is an advantage if you have your own kids in school.

    Cons

    The pay compared to suburban school districts is low. The heads of the District are trying to lower pay, which is unfair. Even though you have holidays and summers off, there is constantly work to be finished at home (grading, planning, paperwork, etc.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust teachers to do their job, and give them a little autonomy. Teacher review is needed to hold teachers accountable, but it needs to be fair and take into consideration all the influences on a student.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging, but rewarding. Only work here if you love teaching.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    There are a lot of different opportunities for growth as a teacher or administrator. I pursued several of those opportunities in order to make myself a more well-rounded educator and prepare myself for administration.

    Cons

    Lack of job security, unstable administration, parents that are unable to support their children for various reasons, no money for schools. You're up against a lot and it's not looking too good for the near future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Falling apart

    Former Employee - Secondary Teacher  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Secondary Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    The students are wonderful and the opportunity to work with them makes it worthwhile. Given the high turnover and high needs, you can take on leadership roles if you have initiative.

    Cons

    A top down administrative culture is changing on paper to be more innovation friendly, but the actual implementation of this is slow going.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Beware

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

    Pros

    My directors and department were amazing. The technology department tries so hard to do so much with so little. The rest of the district is a mess.

    Cons

    Lack of money. Lack of knowledgable leadership. Nepotism abounds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    My experience has been rewarding. I love the children and teachers.

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

    Pros

    The passionate teachers. The varied levels of students. The number of schools that differ in enrollment numbers. The professional development that offered in the district.

    Cons

    The lack of resources, changes in curriculum and bugets, lack of support at times from administrators, and lack of parental involvement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start with your teachers when making decisions. They have alot of hreat advice about how to do things better. Offer support and more resources to parents. Improve in school management, and really being about educating our youth. Run schools like they have our prized possessions... our children in them.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Teacher salary

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

    Pros

    Benefits are great
    Co-workers are wonderful
    Work calendar is fantastic for traveling

    Cons

    No respect by administration for teachers

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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