Aspire Public Schools

  www.aspirepublicschools.org
  www.aspirepublicschools.org

Aspire Public Schools Reviews in Oakland, CA

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
28 Reviews
3.2
28 Reviews
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James Willcox
10 Ratings

9 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work - turnover frequent depending on the team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Mix of bright, passionate, intelligent people; solid compensation (particularly for cost of living in Oakland); excellent work/life balance

    Cons

    Disconnect between the Home Office and the rest of the schools (and possibly in between schools); vertical mobility is based on restructuring of teams or when others leave Aspire (often depends on luck as well as identifying opportunities on your own)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More diversity on the board and senior leadership team; involve more active educators in the process

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Love the kids, not the staff

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

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great HR department, yearly professional development trainings

    Cons

    -Some great teachers, but they can't identify with the kids/population they're serving

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Small non profit transitioning into larger corporate environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Home Office Employee in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Home Office Employee in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent Benefits, Intelligent hard working employees.

    Cons

    Its in a transition phase. Started out as a small non profit and is moving towards a large corporate feel. You have to wear many hats. Expected to work many hours. The home office is basically having to create policy's as they grow causing confusion and disorganization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great opportunity to do mission-driven work with really smart people.

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

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Dynamic work environment, strong culture, admirable mission.

    Cons

    work can be frustratingly difficult, limited budgets to solve some problems

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep focused on the mission and the culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Found a rewarding place with like-minded individuals!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Aspire is full of individuals who care about the mission of preparing students in under-served communities for college. I've never worked with so many like-minded colleagues who support me and are invested in my professional well-being. Senior Management has been extremely flexible in helping me with a work-life balance over the last 10 years. Aspire really cares about its employees and cultivates this culture. Overall it is a great place to work.

    Cons

    As in many non-profits I think, you end up wearing a variety of hats. It compliments my work style but may not be for everyone. I wish people understood how much Home Office thinks about the entire staff and tries to make decisions with the best interest of our teammates in mind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to work on career pathways and options for your staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Charter charter schools have lost their original intent!

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

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Mission statement is amazing! Great culture, lots of staff development. The teachers are committed to their task of educating children!

    Cons

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Charter schools were started in order to give local students, parents ,teachers, and administrators freedom to implement programs that work. Aspire is run like a corporation at centralized offices. The local freedom is gone. New ideas are welcome as long as the are consistent with Aspire philosophy. APS serves mostly students of color yet it has no English Development program and no language maintenance program like Spanish for Spanish speakers. Does this make sense in a school that has over 60% Latinos and 24% English learners? Language minority students unique academic needs are not met, fluent Spanish speakers are routinely placed in monolingual Spanish classes where they are bored and learn nothing. The education at APS is subtractive: It does nothing to use the resources that Latino students and their parents bring to school, it does not validate their language, history of culture! In the school I worked at we could not get 5 kids in order to field a boys basketball team! It is hard to field any team at some of the schools due to massive failure!
    Aspire Pubic Schools began with some change, but quickly turned into its own brand of district/corporation which abandoned the principles of local control and independence for students, parents, teachers and administrators- to say nothing about the 60-70 hours teachers at APS are required to put in every week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay teachers more and you will retain more of them. Upgrade facilities. Hire teachers and administers who look like the kids. The entire administration needs to learn cultural proficiency, implement English Learner's Programs and Spanish for Native Speakers programs.You need to buy enough materials. You need to offer culturally relevant courses like history, English and music programs which will validate the history, language and culture of your stakeholders. Contact me if you want real change, innovation and cultural relevance!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Administrative Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Oakland, CA

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Great mission, passionate staff and long-ish hours, but not unreasonable. Fair compensation.

    Cons

    Didn't feel fully utilized, was a bit bored some of the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nurture all employees -- it is cheaper to nurture existing employees than to train new ones. Make sure you select the right employees, nurture them appropriately and help them to remain challenged.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Mostly great people. Sink or swim environment.

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

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    All of the people are really nice. Lots of opportunities to volunteer at the schools and see the students, which makes it a lot easier to appreciate the work done at the Home Office.

    Cons

    Most managers are too busy to support and train their staff. No opportunities to learn or grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in Home Office staff to reduce the turnover and make people happier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great organization

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

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Aspire has a great mission and staff. The systems, infrastructure, and culture around making data-driven decisions at all levels of the organization are years ahead of most other school districts. The commitment to serve students by building strong teachers is powerful. Overall, the organization runs very efficiently.

    Cons

    The organization has very high expectations which can require large time input. The focus on test scores is understandable given they are a charter, but is more narrowly focused on math and english than I would like.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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