Chicago Public Schools

  www.cps.edu
  www.cps.edu
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Chicago Public Schools Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
164 Reviews
2.8
164 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Barbara Byrd-Bennett
46 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Working with students and seeing them learn is phenomenal (in 5 reviews)

  • The best reason to work at CPS is because you can make a difference in a child's life (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Teachers are lacking the resource support they need to do their jobs efficiently (in 28 reviews)

  • Was let go do to budget cuts three weeks before the next school year began, leaving me little time to find another teaching position (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    The company you keep

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

    I worked at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Central Office (downtown) I was lucky enough to work with amazing, passionate and dedicated people who loved what they did. This made working there great. There are many people who care and go above and beyond to do good for the youth of Chicago. There is some flexibility depending on departments for work culture, some much better than others.

    Cons

    The system itself is so bureaucratic and run by business people who have no real concept of what community work actually is. There is too much of a high and mighty "I know what is right and you just have to do it like I told you to" mentality. The sad thing is that it is usually outsiders who have little to no true experience working with inner city youth and/or large urban areas. People have good intentions, but little time to listen to the people. They need strong leadership, but that strong leadership also has to take he time to work collaboratively with all of the amazing people who actually work there, but are often ignored because they don't have the title or fancy letters after their name. They do know though what the hell is going on in their city and the system which educates their children. This ties into growth. Growth can be amazing here or it can be non-existent. You have to know the right people and talk a bit talk. Every now and then you do actually get recognized for being awesome at your job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Central Office (downtown) Don't ignore the worker bees, they are often the reason things move and are successful. They are the ones getting their hands dirty and deserve recognition and opportunities to advance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    unstable position

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

    I worked at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    A few of the best benefits of working for CPS are the teacher/student relationships that are developed over time and the opportunities to become a positive role model to several generations of student and families.

    Cons

    The different personalities and demands of administrators every two years and unfair ratings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat teachers like you would like to be treated. Stop closing positions and laying off teachers with superior ratings and excellent classroom management and many years of student/teacher relationships. Novice teachers are fresh out of college, but they do not know how to control a classroom just by being present and not saying a word!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Do it for the love of kids.

    • 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 Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Chicago Public Schools pays well. Some schools have great principals, some schools have great coworkers, some schools have a lot of technology. The kids need great teachers! I loved being a teacher and working with the kids.

    Cons

    Chicago Public Schools is a horrible corporation to work for. I am the kind of person that is always trying to do better and the work was never done. I had an awful work-life balance. I think being a teacher in CPS is something everyone should do but not for the long term....5 years max.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are clueless. There are not enough characters of text allowed to even begin to help fix the system that you have in place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Inefficient and Outdated Processes that need to evolve

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

    I have been working at Chicago Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Sense of working for a cause, good starting salary, ability to make an impact since there is a lot of inefficient process and people.

    Cons

    Dealing with unprofessional employees, decision making of leadership is questionable and a lot of bureaucracy. No raises if not in union since huge budget deficit. Very inefficient systems and processes, too many people would rather maintain the status quo instead of evolving system to present times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide merit increases to employees who are showing competence and ability to lead. Reward those that help the company through career paths

    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Teacher

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

    I have been working at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Set salary, health insurance, pension

    Cons

    No job security, incredibly high turnover, high taxes and union fees, very high hours expected, required to live within city limits to apply.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in training staff, instead of firing staff and hiring new staff. Very high turnover is a huge problem, lowers morale, and means most staff are inexperienced and novice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Depends on the school

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

    I have been working at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you want to work with kids who really need great teachers, CPS has a huge variety of schools to choose from. Many schools in CPS are giving kids in very rough neighborhoods a great education and the chance to really have options and choice in their lives. There are occasional professional development meetings that are helpful and the salaries are pretty good compared to other urban districts. The union is willing to fight, which is necessary in a political system as crazy as Chicago's. There is a good pension program and if you are lucky enough to find a great school with good leadership, you can be part of team that really has an impact on kids who really need good teachers.

    Cons

    There is enormous dead weight in CPS - bad principals, bad tenured teachers, bad new teachers and an at-times impossible to navigate Central Office. It seems like the folks downtown are constantly being moved around and extraordinarily ineffective school leaders are allowed to continue working while successful, dedicated, experienced (and new) teachers are bullied and left with very limited resources. There is a massive variety of experiences even between schools that are just a few blocks from each other. CPS does not have any resources to help teachers with classroom management, which is a major component of school success, and many CPS schools are totally unsafe for kids and adults.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time in school buildings and react quickly when school leaders are pointedly not following policies. Provide far, far more assistance with classroom management and school culture. Treat parents like partners and equals, regardless of their background. Provide more pipelines for smart kids from low-performing schools to access the amazing selective enrollment schools in the city.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    My experience at Chicago Public Schools has been an enjoyable one!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Special Education Classroom Assistant  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Special Education Classroom Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Chicago Public Schools full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The best reason to work at CPS is because you can make a difference in a child's life!

    Cons

    One of the biggest challenges working in CPS is the lack of funding that is allowed per child.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Its just a house of rules for everybody!!

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

    I worked at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You are still learning even while your at work, on break there are books and computers every where to learn something.

    Cons

    There is just to many rules, you are treated like a kid you cant do this you cant do that you are working in a glass house!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the bosses are the best but i tell you like Micheal Jackson tells everybody you better start looking at the man in the mirror!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    CPS Bus Aide

    Current Employee - CPS Bus Aide  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - CPS Bus Aide in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Chicago Public Schools part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    It is a pleasure working with my special needs' students.

    Cons

    It's very hurtful when one of my students get sick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should ride the bus with driver, bus aide and students to see how each of them interactive with one another.

  11.  

    A truly rewarding career

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

    I have been working at Chicago Public Schools full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Limitless opportunities, tons of professional development, and awesome community partnerships make CPS a great place to start or continue a career that makes a real difference in the lives of others. The intrinsic rewards still outweigh the stresses of this profession. Be creative and inspiring and your students will appreciate you.

    Cons

    Increasing instability and ever-changing policies from a constantly changing leadership can make this district more stressful to navigate than most. Over-emphasis on test prep can stifle creativity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The emphasis on selective enrollment schools and programs has done irreparable damage to your non-selective, struggling neighborhood schools. You need to figure out a way to level the playing field; because you are rating all schools the same and teachers the same but instituting policies that exacerbate inequality. If you want those ratings to be legitimate, instead of adding more selective schools, you should make every school in the district a neighborhood school with a defined service area that serves everyone in the area. If you must include selectivity, then every school should allow 10% of its student body to come from outside the neighborhood for a selective enrollment program designed to meet the specific economic interests of that community.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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