AUSL Reviews

Updated April 3, 2015
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  1. Great experience. Difficult to move up due to their structure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - N/A in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - N/A in Chicago, IL

    I worked at AUSL full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Fun staff. Don Feinstein has an a great ability to be fun and loose but still extremely hard working.

    Cons

    Difficult to move up, hard to stay when there is no options for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees and react to their feedback

  2. Not a great place to work

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

    I have been working at AUSL

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Working with children is great. Great kids.

    Cons

    Unsupportive management and many, many hoops to jump through.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to care more for your employees, especially in times of need.

  3. A lot of hard, meaningless work that is not ideal for student growth.

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

    I have been working at AUSL

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    many resources, coaching, great teaching staff.

    Cons

    administration disrespectful to staff, too much micro-management, no consistent curriculum or focus.

    Advice to Management

    Allow teachers to adjust to students' needs; have faith that your teachers are working hard and doing what is best for students.

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  5. Do things ever really get turned around?

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

    I have been working at AUSL

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Students can be fun to work with. Staff is relatively friendly.

    Cons

    Expectations for extremely low performing students are entirely too high, not enough teacher support.

    Advice to Management

    Be realistic about goals.

    AUSL Response

    Feb 23, 2015Social Media Coordinator

    Thank you for taking your time to leave us a review. One of the core values of AUSL is to hold high expectations that drive our urgent focus on continuous improvement. Your feedback is helpful as we ... More

  6. Hard Work, but Rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at AUSL

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Kids, kids, kids...You will meet some amazing students working in this organization. They also provide wonderful professional development and opportunities for leadership.

    Cons

    You have to be ready to dedicate your life to your teaching. It is not a job to take on during a busy time period of your life.

    Advice to Management

    Continue your pursuit of providing great education for all students, while allowing for a work-life balance, so there is not such a high burn out rate.

    AUSL Response

    Jan 20, 2015Online Recruiter

    Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, and thank you for working with us! It’s wonderful to see that you listed the amazing students we work with as one of the pros of teaching with ... More

  7. Not for the weak

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Resident Teacher in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Resident Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at AUSL full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Nurturing, caring people and great mentorship

    Cons

    Really really hard, make sure teaching is what you want to do.

  8. Helpful (7)

    Mission vs. Reality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Resident and Teacher in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Resident and Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I worked at AUSL full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -If you are fortunate and get placed with a decent mentor and/or administration, you will learn a lot and probably love your job.
    -You get thorough training on Doug Lemov teaching techniques (popular teaching strategies in urban schools).
    -Discounted Master's degree and a decent stipend during the residency year.

    Cons

    I am someone who has worked with urban youth prior to this experience and loved it. I was quite certain that teaching was my calling. During my years with AUSL I loved my students and put in 110% in hopes that my kids would have learned and become better people in the year they have spent with me. I loved my kids and was passionate about education, but have decided to leave. Here are my reasons:

    -AUSL is growing faster than they can handle. The schools they have supposedly "turned around" with an exorbitant amount of additional funds usually revert back to pre-turnaround condition by the third year. They take effective teachers and administration from "successful" schools and have them sent to schools that have been newly added to the network. Four out of five times, this teacher/admin drain have disastrous effects on the school the following year. A school that might have been calm, in less than one year's time, can become one where fights spontaneously break out multiple times a day from 8th grade down to K.

    -If you are a critical thinker, this place is not for you. For most principals, their idea of an ideal teacher is a yes man/woman with great classroom management. They are even OK with teachers using mild corporal as long as they follow the principal in all decisions and can manage a class. My friends in the network and I have been accused of being insubordinate, "uncoachable," negative, etc, for simply voicing the "wrong" opinion. If that happens often enough, they will find a way to get rid of you regardless of your skill in teaching or dedication to the kids. In the end, the principals are in charge of the teacher reviews, and let's just say those things are pretty subjective.

    -Test scores trump all in AUSL. You will be asked to do reading passages with multiple choice questions even if over half of your kids cannot read. You will be asked to fill out an analysis sheets on your "data" of mostly random guesses. You will be asked to focus on the students in the third quartile to get the most "bang for your buck" on test score gains. You may be asked to ignore the "lowest" students because they are so far from grade level.

    -Students with special needs are not getting what they need in most AUSL schools. The paraprofessionals that have been hired with money that was specifically allotted for these students are often not in the special ed classroom or assisting students with needs. Often they are used as an extra support for behavior in the hallways, a sub, or recess and lunch staff. Basically, most AUSL schools are in gross violation of laws made to protect students with special needs.

    AUSL has its priorities in the wrong places. They care more about their image than the growth and well being of their students and staff. I used to love teaching, but I am now on a indefinite hiatus due to my traumatic experience with AUSL. I leave AUSL unsatisfied, disillusioned, and in debt. Please let this serve as a cautionary tale for passionate individuals hoping to work for AUSL. If you want to keep teaching and love what you do, stay away.

    Advice to Management

    Stop growing. Fix the schools you have. If you really want to know how a school is doing, do NOT have the principals choose the teachers who will speak during collegial visits. The voices of a random group of teachers will give you a more accurate picture of the state of the school. Donald Feinstein, I believe you are sincere about the kids and the mission of AUSL. I too believe in the mission of AUSL, but sadly, the reality is far from it.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Amazing Training, challenging Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at AUSL full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    -Full year of training. You gain actual experience working in an urban classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher. When you step into your classroom, you are ready!
    -excellent connections throughout the network. Lots of room for growth with different types of mentoring (professors, coaches, etc).
    -lots of PD opportunities
    -well-resourced company; ability to provide students with amazing enrichment opportunities
    -unique ways to grow within the company (opportunities beyond the teacher-->administrator path)

    Cons

    -Difficult work-life balance. AUSL guarantees that their schools will be successful and that can place a lot of pressure on teachers.
    -it's a difficult time in education in general (changing standards and tests) which is difficult to balance (not AUSL's fault in any way, but it does add pressure)
    -you *must* be coachable (difficult for some) and willing to grow/change

    Advice to Management

    Work toward a consistent message and curriculum across the network.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Good Intentions, but...

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

    I worked at AUSL

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The mission is great and some of the schools are thriving.

    Cons

    If you don't work in one of the schools, there will be very little room for growth and promotion in the organization.

    Advice to Management

    You will not be able to keep talented employees without giving them a chance to learn and grow as a professional.

  11. Helpful (4)

    A great way to develop into a great teacher.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Teacher in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at AUSL full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    AUSL is committed to student achievement. They know that rigorous, high-quality is essential but not sufficient. They work tirelessly to create positive environments where student feel safe, take academic risks and can celebrate their successes. Personally, one of the best things about AUSL is it allows career changers, such as myself, a way to be trained for a full year with a mentor teacher, receive teaching certification, and a Masters in Teaching. I am deeply grateful that AUSL helped me accomplish all this in one calendar year and now continues to support me with a teaching coach in my first year with my own classroom. This is the good, hard work and I can say I've never been happier with a job. A final note of what impresses me about AUSL is that they are continually adapting and trying to improve everything they do. Do they have all the answers? No. They look at themselves with a critical eye and are never satisfied with "good enough." In my opinion those are exactly the sort of people you want working in school improvement.

    Cons

    The Residency year is difficult for anyone but if you are not well matched with your mentor teacher it is much more so. AUSL tries to make adjustments where possible. I was fortunate in this area and I think so much of my positive attitudes toward AUSL comes from my respect for my mentor and their powerful mentorship. Friends who were not so lucky generally had more negative things to say about the experience. I think getting the right mentor is a huge factor in Resident's completing the year and going on to teach in an AUSL school.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest time in making good matches of mentors and residents

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