Achievement First Reviews

Updated May 13, 2021

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3.6
65%
Recommend to a Friend
66%
Approve of CEO
Achievement First Co-CEO and President and Co-CEO and Superintendent Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
224 Ratings
Pros
  • "In house professional development(in 78 reviews)

  • "Authentic relationships with scholars that is fostered in to the school motto(in 21 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Hard to find work/life balance in TIR role(in 112 reviews)

  • "Over worked, long hours, lots of restrictions(in 83 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year
      Featured Review

      Amazing Experience filled with Growth

      Mar 22, 2021 - Teacher-In-Residence in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The leadership team at my school are just that: LEADERS! As a teacher-in-residence, I have learned and grown so much this year. The program is awesome because you are linked with a coach who is dedicated to your development. Workplace culture is strong; the teams row together and AF's values (e.g.: racial equity and care for whole person) are alive every day. Salary is comparable to similar positions; benefits package is satisfactory. For teachers: The curriculum materials are usually VERY well done and a ton of materials/resources are given.

      Cons

      I do not have any cons to share at this point!

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    2. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Mission-aligned and hardworking team

      Mar 31, 2021 - Network Support in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Positive impact on students. Willingness to adjust as necessary. Smart team with strong execution.

      Cons

      Problematic history with no excuses. Strong personalities can lead to conflict. Frequent change can limit positive momentum.

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    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Well-oiled machine with kind and mission-aligned people

      May 2, 2021 - Dean in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - strong systems, structures and routines AF is a nationally recognized charter school network that has strong impact on student achievement. It is one of the best charters I've worked at. - good intentions - strong development - less politics compared to other charters - less growing pains compared to smaller charters - kind and mission-driven people who are smart and care

      Cons

      - work life balance - it's working to undercut some white-supremacy values and cultures (sometimes at pace that is slower than what others want). some superintendents, particularly at the middle school level, are "old school" AF leaders who are adapting slower to the change culture. - school culture and staff experience varies across schools, particularly if the principal is struggling

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    4. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Review of Achievement First Endeavor Middle School

      Mar 25, 2021 - 6th Grade ELA Teacher in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Co-teaching model allows for increased collaboration, emphasis on coaching allows new teachers to truly grow in their craft, culture of excellence amongst students and staff helps each member of the school community find success, there are plenty of resources and the organization is very organized and communicative, and there is a strong culture of advocacy for our student's needs!

      Cons

      Network curriculum can stifle creativity and flexibility in lesson planning. The emphasis on having students be successful on standardized tests impacts direction and focus of lessons, making them sometimes feel repetitive or too narrow. Work life balance can be hard to achieve with number of hours and deliverables.

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    5. 4.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Elementary Teacher Pros/Cons

      Mar 22, 2021 - Elementary Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      AF truly supports teacher in their professional growth whether that be in their current position or to seek even further outside of the school. AF works with Relay Graduate School and ensures that you are on track to earn your Master's degree. The staff who are hired and mostly there not for the pay but to truly advocate and support children in their learning. The work you do truly matters and worth it for the kids. You will get observed A LOT and receive feedback (this can be a pro and con for some people) The staff did a great job in trying to be transparent and vigilant on if the school should reopen during the pandemic.

      Cons

      The work life balance is difficult to maintain if you have other priorities. While the network and the schools speak about teachers having self-care and making time for yourself this is difficult to achieve with the amount of things teachers need to get done , on top of all the meetings we have after class with a short turnaround time. Classroom management and expectations are set on the kids and on teachers (during this time of pandemic) and observed with scores, but there's no true support on what teachers can do after exhausting all options and ideas.

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    6. 4.0
      Current Employee

      It's alright

      May 13, 2021 - Teacher in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Given curriculum and lots of materials, solid coaching

      Cons

      Not flexible, long hours, micromanaged

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Great Organization and Community

      Apr 14, 2021 - Student Services Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      During my time at AF I have always felt part of a team and family. People are always ready to help each other, and to work really hard. I have also found that through the years AF has changed and thankfully for the better, we are not at 100% but we are in a great place. I have been lucky to work with people who care about kids and the joy we bring to kids.

      Cons

      Being in education is hard and it will take a toll on you. Finding the work life balance is a con. It is better at AF but not at 100%. I have also hoped to see change fast given our current times, and though it is happening, it feels at times that it takes a long time.

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    8. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Some strong teachers, but, as the name states, achievement comes first (and too often above student needs.)

      Apr 22, 2021 - Teacher 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      AF pays for a graduate program for first year teachers that is a huge financial support. Theoretically, all teachers should have one-on-one coaching meetings weekly. (The follow through on this was not consistent for my experience.) The AF Providence staff is pretty racially diverse and this has an important impact on our school culture.

      Cons

      AF gives out a lot of surveys to staff and students but rarely seems to act on feedback. There is a ton of pressure on students to constantly evaluate themselves academically. As a result, there is not a lot of joy in AF classrooms. Some teachers work against this pattern, but the pressure for good "data" from the leadership team too often harms student learning. Also, much of the curriculum design for ELA is flawed and overly technical. Students at AF struggle a lot with writing as a result. And this is not a super inclusive workplace for queer / trans folks.

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    9. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Reasonable

      May 11, 2021 - Teacher in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work expectations are aligned to competitive salary

      Cons

      Long hours and large class sizes

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    10. 4.0
      Current Employee

      changing culture

      Apr 26, 2021 - Academic Dean in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Achievement First is a network that embodies know better, do better and strives to be an antiracist organization. If you are looking for a school with room to grow, Achievement First is a good place to do that.

      Cons

      The hours can be long, and the work intense, especially your first years there.

      1 person found this review helpful
    Viewing 1 - 10 of 556 Reviews

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