Achievement First Reviews | Glassdoor

Achievement First Reviews

Updated April 22, 2017
202 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Achievement First Co-CEO and President and Co-CEO and Superintendent Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
Dacia Toll and Doug McCurry
69 Ratings

202 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
Cons
  • There is very little work-life balance (in 59 reviews)

  • Long hours- especially at the school (having your own babies or young children is hard when working school hours) (in 34 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Overall Great Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    They are really working to find work/life balance for teachers which makes me excited about the future direction of the network.

    Cons

    The hours can definitely be long, and the work can be exhausting, but the team is always supportive.


  2. "AF is the school for me"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 4th Grade Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - 4th Grade Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm just finishing up my 3rd year at AF as a literature teacher and grade level chair and have signed on for my 4th. After working in a couple of different elementary schools, AF is unlike any other. I love working with our scholars who truly enjoy learning and are eager to participate in the classroom. I am someone who likes to work my best, learn, and always improve instruction, so it's very beneficial to have a leadership team that always pushes teachers to be their best and coaches them. There is a high level of support at my school and as a teacher I always feel valued and appreciated, whether it's through a note from my principal or coach or a surprise lunch day. My school has done a lot of work to help teachers grow in their roles and works with them to make sure the job is meeting their personal goals.

    Cons

    Working for AF requires a lot of work and a lot of time. Often times there are moments when a lot of things need to get done at once with quick turn-around times (grading Interim assessments with report card grades due the same week). The work is very manageable as long as you have strong time management and are able to prioritize top tasks. Sustainability is something the network and schools are committed to working on, but until then the amount of teachers that leave each year makes it challenging for teams to stay strong;

    Advice to Management

    Differentiated professional development for new teachers and returning teachers, school-based and on the network level. Keep working on finding ways to make this job sustainable, so that seasoned teachers are driven to stay longer.


  3. "World History Teacher and Grade Level Chair"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - World History Teacher and Grade Level Chair in New Haven, CT
    Current Employee - World History Teacher and Grade Level Chair in New Haven, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have been working at Achievement First Amistad High School for 5 years and will be back next year for my 6th year! I honestly enjoy coming to work everyday and working with our amazing scholars and staff. I feel a sense of pride at my school. I previously worked at a traditional public high school and for the most part all of the teachers there were classroom teachers. They were concerned about their own classrooms but not the school as a whole. Its very refreshing to be at Amistad where the staff is committed to making the school an amazing place for both staff and students.

    The school helps to provide everything I would need to be a successful teacher. And I find the professional development to be very helpful. The network also is growing so there are many positions for administration that open up that allow me to move up quickly.

    Cons

    One of the biggest pros also happens to be my con. There are constantly administration and teaching positions opening at AF which is great because it allows a teacher like myself to move up quickly. The negative there is that because these positions are opening up it means that there is less continuity from the administration level. Sustainability has been an issue across the network however it is something that all of the schools and the network are committed to solving.

    Advice to Management

    More Differentiated Professional Development.

    Achievement First Response

    Apr 20, 2017 – Chief Talent Officer

    I value hearing from folks like you who have been teaching with us for so many years – thanks for your commitment and dedication to your scholars. I’m also thrilled to hear that you’ve found ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "AF"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Supportive atmosphere- they provide several tools for employees to be successful The organization as a whole is incredibly forward thinking and committed to equity in education.

    Cons

    Long hours- generally deemed as necessary because the push to close the achievement gap is daunting. Salaries are generally not competitive with the private sector is the job is nonprofit.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "5 Years Down, Many to Come!"

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

    I have been working at Achievement First full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Highly supportive environment: robust coaching structures, unit-level and daily-level lesson resources, lots of opportunities to attend professional development
    -Explicit work on diversity and inclusiveness: frequent conversations in affinity groups and mixed groups about how race impacts our interactions with each other and with our students
    -Lots of opportunities to provide input
    -Salary significantly higher than other schools
    -Committed to constantly making schools better for students and for staff
    -Desire to keep people happy in their roles, so there are lots of opportunities to move around and find the job that aligns with your personal interests and goals

    Cons

    -Extremely long days with an inflexible schedule (at least at my school); 55-60 hours/week in school and still requires work outside of school most weeks
    -While I believe that the structures put in place/requirements on teachers are important for student success, I think some people can find them constraining/stifling

    Advice to Management

    We've said year after year that we need to prioritize sustainability, but it needs to be done more quickly and aggressively.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "AF Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Organized, timely, academic success among the students, rigorous curriculum, receptive to feedback, strong leadership

    Cons

    Long hours, teachers are asked to cover classes tasks a day (unless you are a veteran), intensives given to scholars are rarely successful, retention varies among schools, culture varies among schools, scholars are over tested daily

    Advice to Management

    Scholars shouldn't be over tested because it leads to poor culture among the school. Teachers are over worked and it becomes too much.


  8. "Math teacher"

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

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

    Pros

    Incredibly hard working teachers with a common vision to pull all resources necessary to see that students meet benchmarks each testing cycle.

    Cons

    Very testing oriented where students have little opportunity to play and grow socially and emotionally.


  9. "teacher"

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

    I worked at Achievement First full-time

    Pros

    great sweeping impacts, generally solutions oriented

    Cons

    exhausting, little work life balance


  10. "It didn't work for me"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    -pay is quite a bit higher than traditional school salary
    -you'll receive a lot of feedback and grow as a teacher
    -behavior systems in place make classroom management much much easier to handle
    -the work you do undeniably makes a difference in kids' lives, which is pretty amazing

    Cons

    -12+ hours aren't just something that happen 'sometimes,' as some of the more optimistic reviews seem to suggest; it's a way of life. People who had been teaching at my school for over 5 years were still in the office until 7 (yes, having been in the school for 12 hours), and they had gloomy attitudes towards the sustainability of these hours, long-term.
    -Very little room for creativity or self-direction. Your curriculum is handed to you and you're told exactly what to do with it, too.
    -Insistence on 'high expectations' and 'whatever it takes' often felt like an Orwellian tactic to quash disgruntlement among teachers, which, yes, disgruntled clamoring behind doors is extremely common, despite what management either believes or wants to believe, and despite the aura that you might get at team and school-wide meetings. Basically, teachers felt burned out all the time and voicing feelings of fatigue felt like it was actively discouraged, because complaining isn't a 'whatever it takes, team before self' attitude. For this reason, turnover rates are consistently over 33% per year -- and that's at the best of schools, too (at least on the middle school level, as of a few years ago).

    Advice to Management

    Year after year a miserly 20% or less of teachers report that they feel like admin cares about their work-life balance. I have no advice to management on fixing this (this advice has clearly been given over and over for years) because I know management won't. But if you're not willing to decrease the work-load for teachers, you need to do something else, if you care at all about keeping your staff.

    Achievement First Response

    Apr 12, 2017 – Chief Talent Officer

    This is tough feedback but I appreciate you leaving it. It’s important that we continue to hear firsthand from the challenges our people have faced – and are facing. There’s no question that this ... More


  11. "AF Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent professional development, especially if you are a new teacher. Great support for alternative routes to certification.

    Cons

    Very long work days and heavy work load.

    Advice to Management

    If you make a school wide commitment to either staff members or students, make sure you follow through.



Showing 202 of 205 reviews
Reset Filters