Educational Services of America Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
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Mark Claypool
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Educational Services of America strives to serve the students and families with the best customer service.

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

    I have been working at Educational Services of America


    Opportunity for growth.
    ESA is a growing company.
    The teachers and managers strive to provide the best educational options for all types of students students. Many times these are very individualized plans for each student.


    Budget concerns of many school districts in the USA at the moment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to listen to your field level employees.

    Approves of CEO
  2. Good intentions but poor execution.

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

    I have been working at Educational Services of America full-time (more than a year)


    A steady but small paycheck.


    It is nearly impossible to provide quality services to students due to the inefficiency and incompetence of some people at this organization. The program sold to school districts and parents is a far cry from the reality at the school sites. ESA/Spectrum's main goal is selling and retaining contracts rather than acting in the best interest of the student. Much of the day is spent on behavior management rather than learning because ESA/Spectrum is not concerned with whether the program is an appropriate placement for the child once the contract has been signed. As a result, academic data and grades are often "adjusted" in order to keep up appearances.

    Poor compensation, long hours and lack of training and support result in burn-out among many staff members. Many students exhibit violent behaviors however, physical restraint is often used to gain compliance from students, though I cannot say whether this is due to the burn-out, lack of training or the fact that ESA/Spectrum does not pay enough to attract highly qualified candidates. Job titles mirror those found in the public school programs but the level of education required is vastly different. For example, Behavior Specialists for Spectrum do not need more than a high school diploma and are basically glorified bouncers.

    When an attempt is made to provide academic instruction, the effort is impeded because classrooms regularly do not have necessary supplies such as paper, pencils, and textbooks. This is assuming, of course, that the staff has access to the student's IEP and transcripts to make sure that he/she is getting the appropriate services and enrolled in the correct classes. This situation often lasts months into the school year, if it is ever remedied at all.

    Middle management is far from transparent and often asks leadership at the site level to withhold information from or intentionally mislead staff. Requests for support and additional training are ignored until the "partner district" complains and then corporate's response is to fire or transfer staff to appease the district and at least give the appearance that the concerns are being heard.

    The leadership at the higher levels and the majority of the employees at the individual school sites seem to truly want to help students but unfortunately something goes wildly wrong somewhere in the middle. The result is a program that I would never consider placing my child in, no matter how severe his or her special needs. All of these factors combine to create a culture that is very fear-based where employees focus on surviving the day with no major incidents in order to keep their jobs.

    It hardly seems a coincidence that Spectrum only seems to have programs in underachieving districts where the parents tend to have a low level of education and are unaware of their rights. This company preys on families who are in the most need of help and it is truly a shame that your tax dollars are funneled through local school districts to fund this program which does little more than babysit students so they aren't a disruption at comprehensive campuses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Many of the problems experienced by the school sites could be completely avoided if middle management were more competent and honest. Vice Presidents should be held accountable for their actions and ;ack of professionalism but that is currently not the case.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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