San Francisco Unified School District Reviews

Updated March 21, 2015
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43 Reviews
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San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia
Carlos Garcia
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Good learning experience

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    I've really enjoyed the students and their families and finding best practices to serve them. Good work life balance with tons of vacation time

    Cons

    Starting salary is a bit low but there are annual increases and lots of perks

  2. A great peek into the complicated public ed. world.

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

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    Many dedicated teachers, great kids, a truly diverse experience in a dynamic city. I had a lot of opportunities to collaborate and really hone my craft.

    Cons

    Public education, in general, is not a place for broad innovation or tinkering. It's not SFUSD's fault per se, but when I worked there I really got a sense of it. Teachers from different eras with different ideas, technology adoption sporadic and inconsistent, district and administrative agendas changing with the wind, and no real cohesive outlet for teacher input (apart from labor issues) and improvement of the greater system. A monument to beuaracracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At least pay teachers enough to live in their city, cut down on consultants and half-baked plans that never come to fruition. Give schools more autonomy and don't move admin around so much. If a principal is doing good for a school, it's because he or she has developed a strong team with a lot of buy-in, not because they have the magic bullet for solving every bad school's problems. Create more efficient systems for cross-program collaboration (after school programs, etc.), worry less about test scores as a metric for success and instead look at how SFUSD students succeed after they leave (not graduation rates, long-term success).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. The SFUSD is unorganized, does not offer much training to new special education staff, and is a short-staffed.

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

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    Working with children is always the best thing about teaching.

    Cons

    Compensation (this is amongst all public schools in America), staff development and training is lacking..new teachers, or new to the district teachers are just expected to know "how it works".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please provide more training to your RSP teachers regarding policies, California Law and special education, and compensation to teachers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. unrealistic expectations for teachers to take care of buildings, grounds, coordination with city, paperwork, case manage

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

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    dedicated teachers and colleagues appreciative students and parents lovely setting even if buildings are in state of continuous disrepair -time with children -time outside with children at schools that have gardens even if we have to clear, plant and maintain

    Cons

    needs to be taken over by the state - administrator fraud/incompetence early education superintendent has no credentials at all gets paid a quarter of a million dollars a year while no monies for classrooms early childhood special education supervisor has no experience or credentials in early childhood was upper elementary mild moderate teacher never even taught kindergarten first or second grade new principals given elementary schools with only middle school experience and we are asked to lie to parents about service options, service delivery and cover up ongoing fraud at low level, mid level through to top level administrator levels - worst slum lord in city unsanitary working and learning conditions average beach, city, park, or gas station restroom better stocked with soap and paper goods and cleaner than any SFUSD bathrooms for children or staff absolutely third world working conditions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    State of California - clear the decks - get rid of crooks who stole the 15,000, 000 dollars worth of sped funds and the incompetents who let them get away with it - hire people who have even heard of IDEA legislation ADA legislation SF City and County building and health regulations and follow and support healthful teaching and working conditions for the teachers and staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Pretty Good Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Special Education Paraprofessional in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Special Education Paraprofessional in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are pretty good. After ten years of service, you get medical benefits for life. It's very diverse, people as well as positions. There are teachers, secretaries, librarians, therapists, principals, and paraprofessionals, just to name a few. The goal is to make a rewarding experience of learning for the students, who range from preschool to 12th grade. Some students go until 22 years of age in the Special Education program for community access. You get to meet all kinds of interesting people who are working toward the same goal.

    Cons

    The is not good at all, but most of us work for the love of the students. Many times you find yourself doing a lot of work at home and/ or buying materials for the classroom or the students with no reimbursement. There is always the threat of layoffs. The layoffs always come from the bottom, meaning about 150 - 200 teachers will be laid off, when only 1 or 2 from the top could be laid off to fix the perceived deficit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please value the people who are "in the trenches". Teachers and paraprofessionals work directly with the students and have the most impact on them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Great work environment but needs help in HR.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    Great pay for a collab art teacher.

    Cons

    Didn't get my pay checks in timely manner. At one point I waited for three different paychecks in three months. NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  8. Overall positive, but senior leaders not always in tune with student needs.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Capital Specialist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Human Capital Specialist in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Active school culture, strong parent, family engagement among certain sectors of the city community. There is sometimes unclear goals at the district office level

    Cons

    Consultants usually didn't provide helpful and tailored suggestions, programs. Lots of labor strife.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow in-house EE's help guide strategic strategy as opposed to outside organizations. Develop collaborative relationship with labor.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. Awful Management & Unethical Staff 2012

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

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    Great arts program. Excellent yard & play activities for kids. Wonderful after school program. Solid community & great parent participation in supporting school goals.

    Cons

    2012-2013 Terrible administration (principal). Shenanigans everywhere. Students K-2 could not read due to poor instruction given by very new teachers. New teachers not adequately supported or observed. Random firing of lots of staff without cause. Very stressful hostile work enviornment where as a teacher or after school tutor you could be fired without notice or cause.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better leadership. Stronger ethical business practice. Transparency.

  10. SFUSD Human Resources is a rewarding but tough place to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources
    Former Employee - Human Resources

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    World class city. Amazing, diverse, and exciting population that you will be serving. Other like minded people excited about education.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic rules, regulations, and policies will create multiple hurdles and sap your excitement about education. Permanent civil service employees that are territorial and narrow minded about the work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen and value your front line staff. Give them the resources (technology, training, staffing) to do their job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Special education teacher -- not easy but rewarding

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District

    Pros

    The kids and other teachers were all amazing. benefits were very good.

    Cons

    Beauraucracy -- very difficult to submit paperwork, make changes to benefits.

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