Achievement First Reviews | Glassdoor

Achievement First Reviews

Updated November 27, 2018
321 reviews

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3.9
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Achievement First Co-CEO and President and Co-CEO and Superintendent Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
140 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Professional development (you grow quickly" (in 60 reviews)

  • "They continue to be my team and family" (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • "No real cons apart from the usual work/life balance struggles of most charter schools" (in 78 reviews)

  • "No appreciation of staff long hours" (in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "Rewarding but not without Challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Elementary Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Elementary Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working at Achievement First has been one of the best career choices I have made. It's important for me to be at a place where I can make an impact everyday, there are always opportunities to learn and grow and EVERYONE has a vast amount of knowledge. I am finishing up my first year as a classroom teacher and it has been amazing to see the great things my kids have learned so far. Seeing students fall in love with reading, math and writing just to name a few is such a beautiful experience. Academically AF sets the bar high to ensure instruction will challenge students and set them up for success.

    Cons

    Balance. Finding a balance between work and your personal life can be challenging. With a career as a teacher it's very easy to take your work home, and eventually it can lead to a extremely long day. That is one of my biggest challenges finding the balance in it all. Sometimes your day can be filled with meetings so your preps will be sacrificed and so forth.

    Advice to Management

    If a prep must be used please find an alternative plan so teachers can get their preps.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Consider Making a LONG term commitment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Resident Teacher in New Haven, CT
    Current Employee - Resident Teacher in New Haven, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I work with AF because its a long term commitment. A commitment to hold not only our scholars to the best but a sense of personal responsibility in yourself as a teacher to never settle. AF works with you to become the best version of yourself with the mission in mind to teach ALL. The amount of inclusiveness you feel is beyond wonderful. We really mean team and family!

    Cons

    A downside that AF has unfortunately is the reality that we are very unique! Finding a school that can offer so many options for you to develop in the manner we do each day is challenging. Some people can not live up to that personal responsibility. To those I say you are choosing to settle! You can't find a place similar to AF where you are admired for your everyday actions.

    Advice to Management

    Continue doing a wonderful job, your kids are seeing it!

  3. Helpful (56)

    "Care for Person and Performance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Behavior Specialist in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Behavior Specialist in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Achievement First is invested in the personal and professional growth of their scholars and employees both! As an employee, I feel emotionally safe and supported by my team. The leadership team works diligently to create growth mindset among the team. Ultimately, AF pours into their employees so in return, we can pour into our scholars.

    Cons

    No huge cons for me. In my role, I found myself not completely understanding the responsibilities of my role and how it lives at our school. This was quickly fixed when I asked for clarity.

    Advice to Management

    When hiring new staff, assure the coach and/or leadership team sit with the new hire to outline role and responsibilities, preferably before new hire training.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good opportunity, people, and positive trends."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - History Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - History Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There a great people at my particular school.
    Leadership really takes change seriously— when we say we are going after an initiative we mean it. It shows in our professional development and our coaching structure so that we have alignment and a clear goal and plan.
    Good pay.
    Our school is working on making work/life balance better and has taken steps towards improving it for employees.
    Culture of feedback promotes rapid growth and professional development

    Cons

    Work life balance is improving but has room to grow.
    Oppressive behavior management systems
    Culture of feedback can lead to a feeling of defeat or that you’re never good enough.


  5. "Hard but Fulfilling Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Academic Dean in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Academic Dean in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    1. AF is committed to ensuring that ALL kids have access to a great education. 2. AF takes feedback really seriously. The organization asks for feedback from all levels and works hard to implement it when possible. 3. AF is committed to create a diverse and inclusive staff.

    Cons

    The work is taxing. The hours are long and the work can be hard.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Great place to work, but be prepared to work hard."

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    Mission driven organization. Smart, hard working people. Lots of advancement opportunity for high performers. Fulfilling work that has real impacts in the communities we serve. Management strives to be transparent about challenges and tackles them head on.

    Cons

    Fast paced, hard working environment. If you want a job where you are going to chill out, this is not the place for you.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Teachers are overworked and not respected"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Achievement First full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Consistent coaching
    Relatively good salary

    Cons

    You must follow the Achievement First vision of good teaching, basically a rehashing of Teach Like A Champion by Doug Lemov. There is no room for and no support in trying in alternative strategies, approaches or philosophies.
    The primary focus of leadership is 100% compliance rather than building lifelong learners. The endless focus on and demanding of constant perfection from students leads to a very negative classroom culture.
    Teachers are required to be at school for ~10 hours a day, are only given ~20 minutes for lunch, and have enough work to routinely require additional time to be spent outside of regular hours

    Achievement First Response

    Dec 5, 2018 – Chief Talent Officer

    Thanks for sharing your opinion of AF. While it’s a tough one to swallow in some ways, I think you hit on some very real things, and this review can help people learn about our organization. You’re... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Run"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    Coaching
    Feedback given often to improve

    Cons

    Long hours
    Oppressive system for kids


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Dean"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    Staff are very friendly. Job can be demanding but at the end the results are rewarding.

    Cons

    A lot of hours on the job.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Professional Growth"

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity to learn in the moment.

    Cons

    Long hours makes it easy for burn out.