Portland Public Schools
2.9 of 5 12 reviews
www.pps.k12.or.us Portland, OR 5000+ Employees

Portland Public Schools Reviews

Updated Apr 2, 2014

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2.9 12 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

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Carole Smith

(2 ratings)

40% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Huge organization focused on political maneuvering and top heavy.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsPeople are friendly and caring.

    ConsGetting noticed or making a difference.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsolidate tasks and hierarchy. Spend less dollars on administration and give more towards upkeep of buildings, react less to political maneuvering and more towards the long term mission of the organization.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    I worked for Portland Public Schools as a part time and long term substitute for various positions and locations

    Ed Tech III (Former Employee)
    Portland, ME

    ProsPortland Public Schools is a place where I believe I can get an opportunity to improve on my skills and become a professional in education. The schools are well organized and follow a well established curriculum.

    ConsI am afraid, and it is sad to realize, that immigrant professionals have very limited chance to even become teacher assistants in Portland.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPortland Public Schools should open doors to everyone, especially those interested in finding a job with them, and abide to their pledge to be an equal opportunity employer.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A big, bureaucratic district full of great teachers and great families.

    Elementary Teacher (Former Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsThe level of professionalism among teachers is very high.
    Good pay (for teachers) and good benefits. Many terrific principals.

    ConsToo much top down policy. Very demanding as far as meeting the wide level of needs in one room with no or nearly no support. Every year (out of the 9 I was there) more was put on teachers' plates. Ability to support and collaborate with other teachers was very minimal.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop hiring principals and AP's from outside of the district. In fact, the whole system would be vastly improved by hiring PPS teachers for most management positions. Knowing what goes on in the classroom is vital!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Loved working in the schools with the teachers, staff and administrators

    IT Field Support Technician (Former Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsTeachers are some of the best people to work with concerning IT issues because they are mostly focused, willing to learn, and are always happy when you arrive and sad when you leave.

    ConsThe politics and backstabbing in the central office is legendary and debilitating. Say one wrong word to the wrong person and you will be escorted out of your job by security immediately. The present circumstances in IT leaves a lot to be desired.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees and stop relying on so-called "experts." All the paid consultants are ruining the district. A top down reappraisal of management and HR is needed. There are too many loose cannons running around protecting their turf at the expense of students in schools.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Sped Paraeducator

    Special Education ParaeducatorMicrosoft (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsHealth Benefits, job satisfaction, Time off, sick time.

    ConsStressed Teachers, stability, and demands of job can e stressful.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRespect your staff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Uneven; many are working hard and some are hardly working--yet management is busy with its own problems.

    Manager (Former Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsWork to better other people, kids, and that has great importance.
    Regular, stable job.
    Great benefits.
    Concern about employees' home lives, balance between work and private life.
    .

    ConsManagement often concerned with matters other than their subordinates; often leaving them with less supervision than other employers. Until it comes time for the annual review, and then it is anybody's guess what actions the review will focus upon.
    Low budget means many environmental factors substandard. For example a person could know it was raining without looking out the window because of the buckets scattered around to catch the water coming through the leaking roof.
    Low budget also means many years of little to no annual pay increase.

    Advice to Senior Management1. Return to basics. K-12 education seems to jump on the latest program without demonstration that the new program produces superior results to the existing or previous program.
    2. Reduce the number of out-of-state hires. Senior leadership that comes in from out of state tends to come in and try to make a reputation in Portland before moving on; and PPS loses when there is turnover, particularly at the top since each senior leader seems to feel the need to leave her or his imprint on the district. This results in changes in direction with each change in leadership either in departments, schools, or the district.

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    Stay Away

    Teacher (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsSummers Off, good health benefits

    ConsTerribly disorganized, no accountability, poor pay

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Not a bad place, but not a growth place.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsPension, retirement, and health insurance are top notch. School district spends ~$12,000 per employee on heath insurance. Pension = 1.5% X number of years X avg highest salary for the rest of your life. Not a bad deal.

    ConsPay is low. Raises are lower. Growth opportunities are scarce. If you start off high, then it's not a bad place, but not a good entry or mid level job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease pay. Develop career paths for individual contributors. Allow more cross functional work and leadership opportunities for mid level employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great job

    Special Education (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsGood Salary, GREAT benefits, work less than 50 hours per week

    ConsPERS is low this year, management is a joke, our Union is too supportive of bad teachers

    Advice to Senior ManagementActually ask teachers what they are doing and figure out funding so we arent getting laid off every year

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Dysfunctional administration

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe biggest pro is the district's reason for being: kids. The teachers and principals -- overall -- are another plus. And there's a solid core of mid-level and lower-level central office employees who truly care about students and education.

    ConsThe administration seems to have an initiative (or crisis) du jour. Oversight of central office employees is lax. In terms of upper management, it's a revolving door. Interestingly, you rarely hear anyone mention kids as human beings, not data, in the central office.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOpen your eyes to morale problems and to who's working hard and who's hardly working. Decide what your vision is, and stick to it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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