Achievement Prep Reviews | Glassdoor

Achievement Prep Reviews

Updated October 29, 2018
51 reviews

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1.6
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Shantelle Wright
42 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "It's motivating to see kids work so hard, and then hear about some of their stories about what they see at home" (in 4 reviews)

  • "The teachers are amazing - every single one of them has something new to bring to the table and has his or her own talents" (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • "This article mentions Achievement Prep and" (in 11 reviews)

  • "Lack of Work Life Balance: 7:30-5" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Sorry to go!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The administrative team is supported and dedicated to my development as a teacher.

    Cons

    I have no cons, I had a amazing professional experience at Achievement Prep Academy

    Advice to Management

    I would encourage Management to remain progressive and thoughtful to the needs of teachers. The administrative team has clearly made a impact on my professional life. In closing, I would still be there if my husband did not get deployed overseas. I miss Achievement Prep Academy.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Valuable experience"

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

    I worked at Achievement Prep full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This is a okay school for beginning teachers. It is tough but you will learn and mature a lot. They usually have great instructional coaches

    Cons

    Chaotic
    Constant restructuring
    Stressful work environment

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Just Don’t... unethical in so many ways"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You will build lasting Friendships among coworkers

    Cons

    Well, the CEO is probably the biggest con. She should have followed through with stepping down. Apparently she’s ok with not paying someone who was sexually harassed on camera in the school. Her answer is to not pay her because it was during their “unpaid” season. Like who allows her to do this?! Why is this okay?!

    Advice to Management

    Please just stop following a woman who give zero about people. Her network office is full of weak willed individuals who would rather follow her than speak up. The whole school is joke. And y’all should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing her to do this. Please grow some balls before you all will be unemployed.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Patiently waiting for CEO to step down..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Achievement Prep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Teachers have great relationships

    Cons

    Clear lack of consequences for misbehaving scholars. There are no tiers for discipline, no ISS, no restorative justice, no suspensions (to keep the data looking good).
    The CEO & her team are stuck in their “glory years” when the school first opened. They’ve failed to adapt their policies to account for the current population.
    The leadership team is afraid to speak out against the CEO so many decisions are made without considering scholars, families, or staff. It’s pretty much whatever she says goes & principals do not think for themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Put skilled people into positions- not just people who are your friends.
    Please step down & allow fresh ideas. Stop lying to your employees.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "If you want a quality & positive teaching experience, please stay away."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    PD was promised that was never delivered, salaries, positive relationships with urban students

    Cons

    The best way I can describe this place was a concentration Camp. Hitler and his top advisories making all the decisions and not giving care or support to the soldiers on the front lines in the classrooms. Those kids deserve much better in an elementary school than to be babysat by educators who aren't being supporting in their content or classroom management enough to be successful. checklist culture, Long hours, not a healthy professional culture, job security, administrative and logistical changes. If you come across this post and you choose to still interview and work there with all the other options in DC, don't say you weren't warned.

    Advice to Management

    Keep in mind teacher and administrative needs, stop running schools like a messy courtroom, get qualified coaches and content specialist, dump all leadership from the CEO to the bottom. God bless.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Make memories to last a lifetime"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Colleagues are generally supportive and committed
    It resembles a school (a pro if you want to teach)
    Not being unemployed

    Cons

    Student behavior management is nonexistent
    Very little teacher autonomy
    Schedule is highly demanding
    Many teachers openly state that CEO is a psychopath

    Advice to Management

    I knew that I’d made a mistake when, on day one of orientation, the returning teachers were openly asking each other, “so why did you come back?” (Like, what on earth were you thinking?)

    My year as a lead teacher at APA was truly the nadir of my professional life—and in all honesty many teachers don’t even make it this long. Expect a short stint at APA. If you become one of the “favorites” you might last two or three years; if not, you’ll either be fired or leave by the end of year one.

    Heavy drinking with colleagues after hours is a common coping mechanism for the high stress levels that come with being in the classroom at APA. I have had more than one conversation with former colleagues who claimed to have symptoms of PTSD as a result of their experiences working at APA. No, they weren’t joking.

    The ultimate tragedy is that while APA have a noble mission of bringing high quality education to Southeast DC, and hires dedicated, committed teachers. But because school leadership has such a poor grasp of educational theory and allows teachers virtually no autonomy, APA is really failing its students in its educational mission.

    APA is one of the worst schools in DC and its awfulness cannot be overstated. This school, and its narcissistic CEO, inspire such hatred among its current and former employees that many of us often check Glassdoor just for the cathartic (and sadly all too predictable) thrill of reading yet another review tearing school leadership to shreds. If you have any self respect at all, go do literally anything else, but don’t work here.

    Seriously — just don’t.


  7. "It is a charter school"

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

    I worked at Achievement Prep full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fellow teachers are amazing
    Great Students

    Cons

    Communication issues, Turnover, Leadership consistency, Discipline consistency

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Organizational Imbalance & Denial"

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

    I have been working at Achievement Prep full-time

    Pros

    Great pay
    Committed leaders & teachers
    Great group of students (scholars)

    Cons

    Management
    This organization is mismanaged and not proactive. The CEO is committed to serving this community but is out of her league when it comes to educational leadership and sound decision making. Decision are made based on impulses and not well thought out and do not consider all factor that impact the day-to-day school operations.

    Most of the members of the CEO team are "yes" men and will not speak up when decisions do not benefit the organization. The CEO is 'allegedly" stepping down this year however she is currently leading the efforts for a new school model, which seems odd if she is indeed really stepping down.

    Teacher Support & Discipline
    Teachers and leaders are often unsupported when it comes to behaviors and are subjected to very hostile and aggressive treatment by scholars (students being physically inappropriate with teachers, repeatedly cursed out etc.) and administration does not in anyway offer support to the teacher. Instead there are continuous excuses made by administration for the behavior of the students and the clear lack of consequences. Teachers are made to feel as if a reaction to the mistreatment is actually them not doing their job. Example: student threatens physical harm to teacher, student returns to class, teacher expressing anxiety & fear about teaching the student again, teacher is the labeled "dramatic, extra etc." by administration.

    Job Security & Promotion
    They promote folks that are loyal rather than promoting folks that actually possess the skills for the position. We have leaders that do meet the minimum job requirements for a teacher however based on their time with the organization they have been continuously promoted despite their lack of ability to perform.

    Advice to Management

    Move to a more proactive approach when planning
    Stop make decisions based on the view of people who do will not be actually doing the work
    Transparency = Truth, an abridged scripted version of the truth that is presented
    Protect your workforce - stop making excused for poor behavior and actually enforce your policies and take a stance on the type of school you are for students and teachers
    Promote based on actual ability and work output versus relationships/loyalty


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Don't even consider it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Amazing teachers who work so hard to see their students grow
    - Pay is higher than other schools, but not worth the extra bucks

    Cons

    It's hard to put into words how strongly I feel about how poorly this school educates children and manages staff. They brag about their test scores, being recognized by the DC Public Charter School Board and being a high-ranking school, when none of that stands to be true today. It's a terrible place to work, and a worse place to learn. An article was written in Politico titled, “How Washington Winks at Violent Discipline of Special Needs Kids.” This article mentions Achievement Prep and
    I suggest reading it. It speaks to the reality of how children who require specialized instruction are handled within this school. I can speak to this because I was a teacher during the years this took place. Please read the feedback about this school and take it seriously. It is not a place you want to get yourself involved with. There are so many other wonderful public and charter schools in the area that will offer you more than this school can.

    Advice to Management

    Re-design the entire philosophy of this school.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Needs a Blessing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Administrative in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Achievement Prep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people work there and some amazing students and families who want to see the school excel.

    Cons

    The school has a cult like atmosphere and they do not apologize for it. The CEO has a good heart but her lack in the education world causes the school to suffer.
    1. Teachers: Great young teachers who are not trained with PD's or supported which causes high turnover rate.
    2. Administrators: Highly skilled individuals who are micro manged by the CEO and is not allowed to use their skills because they are forced to do things in a cult like way. Leaders are not allowed to be creative and have to use common language and present their info in their own way. Because of this the same mistakes are commonly made.
    Students: Ward 8 is a historically rough area, and the students suffer from many of things inner city kids go through. Most of the students have severe emotional issues and need therapeutic help but unfortunately they don't have any positions in the school that support those students. Students fight, curse out teachers and even physically threaten teachers at times. Even though most students families struggle financially they are forced to have two different types of uniforms, one in the spring and one in the winter.

    Advice to Management

    The school needs to cut down on the amount of students and focus on rebuilding some of the core values.

    Achievement Prep Response

    Dec 8, 2017 – Chief Talent Officer

    Achievement Prep is very mindful about how we think about our scholars. We cannot stand by the characterization of "most of the students" having "severe emotional issues". We love and care about... More


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