Achievement First

  www.achievementfirst.org
  www.achievementfirst.org

Achievement First Reviews

Updated December 11, 2014
Updated December 11, 2014
36 Reviews
3.5
36 Reviews
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  1.  

    Impactful ed reform work

    • 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 Achievement First full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    AF has a team of some of the smartest, most committed individuals I've experienced in my career (which has been in social justice/ed reform work in its entirety). Though the pace is fast and the urgency undercuts all work, I feel that my personal priorities are respected and that there is tremendous room for growth and development.

    Cons

    Because we are doing real work on daily basis on behalf of kids, some staff can feel overwhelmed at times. I think a reframe of expectations across the ed reform movement focused on student culture rather than adult culture is required -- this is service work, and AF is leading the charge.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Mission driven work being pursued by a team of awesome people.

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    AF has very strong core values and is fiercely dedicated to its mission: creating opportunities for students who historically have been denied them. It attracts committed, smart, hard working people who share common values of making a real difference. I had worked a bunch of different places before AF, never longer than 2 years at any one place, but after 8 years at AF, I am excited as ever about the work we do and being being a part of this team.

    Cons

    AF operates in a field which is dynamic, challenging and in many ways still uncharted. That can lead to work which is by necessity hard to predict and, frankly, we get it wrong some times. It is definitely not the place for someone looking for constancy in their work or routines, and that can make it difficult to strike a work/life balance. The urgency we all feel makes the environment intense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to all stakeholders so that you can continue evolve in a way that achieves your mission in a long-term sustainable way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Lots of hard-working dedicated people.

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of really dedicated, hard-working people come together here in an environment that is collaborative and supportive. As a teacher, you have a lot of supports from school leadership and peers. There is weekly coaching and professional development in addition to summer training that is all in an effort to make you a better teacher. Additionally, everyone is focused on students and puts them first. Finally, there is a culture of constant improvement. Leadership is always looking for ways to improve the network and individual schools.

    Cons

    It has a start-up atmosphere in that there are growing pains to put up with. Each year there seem to be new systems, curricula, school culture systems, etc and you have to have a certain mindset to be ok with that. In regards to the work-life balance issues, it is spoken about and discussed as an area of growth in the school/network and what is encouraging is that in 3+ years here, I've seen major improvements. However, there are a lot of type A personalities here that work 12 hours a day because they are striving for perfection. It is possible to get your work done during the school day and be a great teacher, but at times you can feel guilty for not working 12+ hours a day because so many people are.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Purposeful and intellectually engaging work

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Compensation: People at AF are well paid and get great benefits
    - Resources: There is no lack of resource for teachers
    - Team and Family: You work with talented and intelligent people at all levels.

    Cons

    - People work incredibly long hours: Work life balance is an issue.
    - Time off: Hard to take a day off without feeling guilty.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Best people I've ever worked with, great mission

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

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

    Pros

    After three years here I want to spend at least three years more here. My coworkers are warm, funny and CAPABLE - there is no weak link in the chain - I come to work excited to see people. The co-CEOs are warm, smart, thoughtful people who firmly have one foot still planted in the classroom. Families are wonderful. Benefits are really strong, as is comp.

    Cons

    Working here is a lot of hard work - but if you know that you have to define what sustainability means for you you will be successful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Outstanding peers, outstanding organization.

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

    I worked at Achievement First full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing, dedicated, intelligent peers who are both passionate about education and extremely productive to work with.

    A very results-oriented and data-driven culture. They work with the end in mind, and produce more high-quality results in a month than most organizations do in a year.

    Cons

    An intense work load and a an occasional focus on effort and productivity with less focus on the big picture and strategic use of time and resources.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Work hard, but get extraordinary support, professional development, and make a positive impact.

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

    I worked at Achievement First full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible roles that you can tailor to interests, entrepreneurial, decent pay, motivated and engaged colleagues, plenty of support, outstanding coaching model

    Cons

    Expectations for time spent working are high and sometimes unrealistic. To be successful, you will need to sacrifice some work-life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The biggest piece of advice to management is to try to operate in a similar manner from year to year. Drastic changes make the job even less sustainable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Value-driven, sees strengths in individuals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Services Manager in New Haven, CT
    Current Employee - Student Services Manager in New Haven, CT

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - annual 360 review by all peers
    -semi annual performance review with team members
    - network wide annual professional development event
    - takes soft skills into account in performance
    - very humane: life flexible, family friendly
    - strong relationship with TFA, very low teacher turn over at most schools

    Cons

    - internal development is still evolving which can lead to lots of change and readjustment depending on location in company (new programs being rolled out, tweaking job descriptions, etc) - which can be a pro or con depending on your preference
    - Career paths still being carved out (but very actively being worked on) - still establishing promotion ladders within each part of the organization

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Great place to teach and learn

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

    I have been working at Achievement First

    Pros

    I thoroughly enjoy my work at AF and would recommend it to others.

    Cons

    The work is demanding if you have a family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
  11.  

    Stressful at times, but I consider myself lucky to work at Achievement First.

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    I work in Network Support and I agree that the fast pace and incredible sense of urgency makes the job overwhelming at times; however, there are a great number of positives. My direct manager is one of the kindest, smartest, and most caring people I've ever met. My personal AND professional goals are valued. Everyone I've met has been nothing but supportive and encouraging -- this sort of culture is valued highly at AF. There is a lenient work from home policy, which is terrific if you have a long commute like I do. AF also provides a lot of opportunities to get involved with student events, activities, and rallies outside of work. Every Network Support employee is given a laptop and cell phone. Most importantly, I feel like I'm doing meaningful, important work. Really competitive compensation, great benefits, and a long holiday break! Can't ask for more than that. Finally, the team's passion and drive to achieve the MISSION is incredibly inspiring to witness every day.

    Cons

    Due to the nature of the work, you will find that you work long days more often than not. Personally, this doesn't bother me as much but I know this is a make or break for some people. What's toughest for me is the inability to really be able to unplug after hours. You'll find that you're working even when you're not working. The organization also tends to switch gears in terms of priorities/strategies pretty quickly which can be frustrating and confusing. Finally, depending on your team, you'll find that you'll be traveling much more than you anticipated. Though it's fun to visit other schools in other states, the amount of travel does take a physical and emotional toll after while.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I echo what other folks have already said: allow for more work-life balance! Be more up front about the percentage of time spent traveling when advertising for positions so it doesn't take so many people by surprise.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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