Mastery Charter School

www.masterycharter.org
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Helpful (5)

School run like a Major Company, Be Ready to "Fit In" Quickly

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

I worked at Mastery Charter School full-time (More than 5 years)

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

-Pay
-Co-workers are awesome and dedicated
-Certain Campuses are much better than others (Thomas, Lenfest are strongest two)
-Resources in terms of money per student, clean buildings, etc. Mastery wants for very little in terms of providing for teachers things like Elmo's, etc.
-If you can play "their game" you can do very well and gain large pay increases in a short period of time
-Many of the students are awesome, as you'd expect and hope as a teacher
-Organization is continuously trying to get better (this also could be filed under the Cons section at times though due to never being able to re-use ANY materials from year to year)

Cons

-Organization is run like a major company. Everything is measured in metrics on spreadsheets. You will be micromanaged to an extent not found in any other school. You can and will be addressed for the smallest of details and those will be used against you in end of year conversations and will effect your pay.
-Metrics will impact your raise. If you're students do not preform well on their Benchmarks and you're formal observation schools and MVAS (Mastery Value Added System used to projected student growth) you can expect little raise and to be eventually shown the door.
-Work life balance is bad, bordering on horrible. I am not talking just about working late and on the weekends but being stressed about work the next day. Most teachers in my campus last about 2 years overall if I had to guess.
-Be prepared to "buy in" quickly or be forced out. Your leadership team will quickly identify whether or not you are bought in and willing to comply with their values and wishes. They have no problem brining up the smallest things in order to show you are not "on board" including not coming to after school events, being seconds late to meetings and generally saying they think you are not willing to be a part of their mission.
- Let's be honest, working in a city charter school isn't easy. You're day to day instructing classes will be very difficult and having the added stress of your leadership breathing down your neck about everything from your posters in your room to your agenda board to your hands, lines in the halls and everything in-between. You will deal with situations that will cause you immense frustration and drive you to the brink of quitting (trust me, I've been there five years and seen dozens and dozens come and go and experienced these things myself). Coming back day after day is only easy for the most dedicated, driven and mission aligned folks (I'd say 5-10% of the staff in the building).
-Buildings have many "moles" or "rats" who will overhear negative conversations and report them to your Principal or APs. After that, you'll wind up in a meeting about your values. Watch who you talk to.
-Zero job security. I've seen teachers let go for various reasons including simply not being "on board" to being forced out because they clearly make too much money and can be replaced by someone (usually TFA folks) who make 20 grand less than they do. You will sign a contract that can be terminated at any time, for any reason, so don't expect to have a feeling of perfect job security (Unless you are in that 10% of teachers who really, really shine and are the sheep of the leadership team).
-Cycle of Teachers and Unwillingness to keep folks long term is most scary to me. Here are the phases of how Mastery wants to cycle their teachers in and out of their buildings.

1. You come in, you are observed, you will be told you are awful at teaching and giving a Developing or Unsatisfactory on your formal. You then feel like you really are a bad teacher, or never were good in the first place.
2. You ask them, "How do I get better?"
3. They tell you, they coach you with instruction over the years, you do improve and you will get a raise or two (maybe a big one if you are really well liked and really "on board" with their values, kissing up is huge)
4. You will eventually plateau after your raises and be told you need to continue to improve...which becomes very hard to do after you've been named an Advanced or Master Teacher (order goes Associate, Sr. Associate, Advanced and Master Teacher in order of rating and pay)
5. You start to get a ton of flack for your results and eventually are basically told you make too much money and can be replaced by someone much cheaper (This has been said to folks I know over the years). Leadership team nitpicks on everything you do and basically forces your hand to go elsewhere if you want to be happy. After a few years, the salary you make will stay the same basically for the duration of your time there.

Advice to Management

Be more human, stop asking teachers to be robots and treat staff as professionals and not children. Also, the pace at which Mastery is growing will eventually cause the organization to lack quickly teachers and staff and cause them to essentially become the school district. Simply growing too fast with not enough good/driven dedicated teachers in the area.

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  1. 5 years employed once promoted

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

    I have been working at Mastery Charter School full-time (More than 5 years)

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility, lots of professional development, chances to grow, advancement opportunities (i got promoted in less than 2 years) , kids are amazing and the relationships you forge with both students and parents are priceless

    Cons

    Work life balance is almost non existent, long hours are needed to complete most tasks and there are management spreadsheets to measure EVERYTHING

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example when it comes to valuing life outside of Mastery


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great intentions, but poor delivery.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Lead Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Advanced Lead Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Mastery Charter School full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive pay and ample resources.

    Cons

    It is a political game to advance.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people like human beings and not computers that should read from scripts.


There are newer employer reviews for Mastery Charter School
There are newer employer reviews for Mastery Charter School

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