Aspire Public Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Aspire Public Schools Reviews

Updated September 30, 2017
13 reviews

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Carolyn Hack
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13 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • And I did kind of enjoy the professional development faculty meetings on Wednesday afternoons (in 10 reviews)

  • Recent developments in cultivating positive work environment (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance can be a struggle if you don't set limits (in 9 reviews)

  • There are the standard long hours associated with all teaching jobs (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Lack of leadership and overworked teachers"

    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 Aspire Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    competitive salary, great community of teachers

    Cons

    Students run the school without real consequences for their behavior

    Advice to Management

    Combine restorative practices with actual consequences for unacceptable behavior


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Truly Horrible Place to Work"

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

    Pros

    Nothing to say. I guess they had free parking. And I did kind of enjoy the professional development faculty meetings on Wednesday afternoons.

    Cons

    The students have a truly staggering amount of power and they know it. I really cannot believe how often I found myself fighting off "frivolous lawsuits," by which I mean student complaints to the administration, which I have to defend myself again. I truly could not wait to get out of this horrible environment. The students are stupid, boring, and mean. So are the administrators. The counselors are truly bothersome and are held to staggeringly low standards.

    Advice to Management

    Stop putting so much weight into the student complaints!

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Charter school with poor organization and unethical practices"

    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 Aspire Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Making a difference in a high needs community. Staff is well educated and committed.

    Cons

    Lots of drama. Poor leadership. Unsustainable demands and micromanagement. Unsafe conditions for students and staff.

    Advice to Management

    Give staff more freedom and less micro managing. Investigate nepotism and unfair practices.


  4. "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great staff , consistent work environment

    Cons

    Not much pay, too much gossip


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Big Talk of Diversity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATOR
    Former Employee - HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATOR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Aspire Public Schools opens small schools which tend to foster a family feel on campuses. The students and families are amazing and appreciate all the hard work of the staff.

    Cons

    The leadership talks about diversity and empowering people of color but in practice, treat their workers of color poorly. It is obvious at networking and leadership events that there are aspects of cultural capital which are appreciated and other capital which is not. If you're willing to sell out into the dominant culture, you'll have many doors open to you.

    Advice to Management

    Take some time to truly reflect on your practices. It is quite obvious to staff and families that only the opinions of a few individuals are considered when making decisions. Take the time to consult with families and treat them as equals not as charity cases.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Employee review pros and cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Educator in Stockton, CA
    Current Employee - Educator in Stockton, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience, ability to develope ones own lesson plans. Somewhat good health plans.

    Cons

    Very little material support, high expectations with very little compensation compared to union school districts. At will employment (yellow dog contracts), no job security. Very little support for SPED students. Pay for teachers has gone down considerably since schools first opened, along with a decrease in skilled teachers.

    Advice to Management

    Raise pay to maintain good staff, increase resources for teachers, and especially SPED students. Segregate SPED students from general pop students during normal academic class time. Require more staff to have proper credentials!


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Lots of work, little pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time

    Pros

    Aspire is doing great things for kids.

    Cons

    The pay is horrible and you are expected you to work longer hours than they will admit. Meetings are called with little notice and often run over. Excessive trainings and observations. If the pay was better this wouldn't be as much of an issue. Not a good place to work if you have a family.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "More stress than an air traffic controller at 1/10 the pay."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - High School Language Arts Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - High School Language Arts Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You work with smart, young people who are committed to improving education and genuinely care about what they do.

    Cons

    Aspire exploits the hell out of this "desire to do good" and works their teachers harder than Foxconn in China. Students are generally unappreciative, verbally abusive of staff members.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking about how sustainability and improving teacher turnover is a priority and DO something about it. At every staff meeting, sustainability was addressed as being important, although in my time as a teacher with Aspire, there wasn't a single action taken to improve the problem.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Totally unsustainable lifestyle."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Elementary Teacher in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Elementary Teacher in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    From what I saw, the teachers and administrators at Aspire are truly dedicated to what they do. They are passionate about giving children the best, and success is celebrated across the board. The environment was pretty supportive for the most part. So, at the school level, you have passionate and talented people, young and hungry for that changing-the-world feeling. Keep doing what you do - and teachers, please fight for what you need in order to stay. Remember that you are this organization's greatest asset.

    Cons

    First problem: Curriculum and inability to use the curriculum. I was given curriculum and math books, but a few were missing. My teaching partner let me know that although I had been given this curriculum, it was not recommended that I use it very much. I found out very quickly that since the goal is of course a high score on the end-of-year exams, the status quo is that most teachers are creating their materials from scratch and tying it exactly to the test questions (my opinion on this method of teaching is irrelevant - I will do it if it is asked of me, but I wish there was a better curriculum to follow to accomplish this). Presentations, assessments, worksheets. You name it, I essentially had to create it or find it myself. The resources I could find online did not go well with the content standards. So, essentially I was teaching all day, going home and planning and creating materials, even setting an alarm sometimes for the middle of the night to get up and work. Regardless of how much I care about these students' success (and I care a lot,) do you think I can have my own kids someday and live that lifestyle? I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping enough. My hair was falling out. And worse, I had to go to therapy. I'm a hard worker and willing to put in more than 40 hours a week. But this was just insane.

     Second problem: Workshops. I was told by a few teachers that I could basically implement any games or activities I wanted into workshop time, which was great because I was able to borrow some games from another grade level - only to be told by my coach that I was NOT allowed to do this. There is a lot of confusion from teachers, to administrators, to coaches - it's like a game of telephone. This needs to be streamlined so that everyone is on the same page.

    Third problem: Student behavior. I realize I am in an urban area in Southern California, and I am going to experience some behavior issues with students. However, other schools have systems in place to create a good classroom culture from Day 1. I think that one reason Aspire has such a problem with this is the sudden high influx of new students in 4th grade - these kids have been in other problem-behavior type schools and are now coming to Aspire, and they have not been conditioned to behave the way that Aspire expects them to in order to do the types of lessons Aspire has us do. But also - the year that I started at my school was the first year ever that there had been a school-wide behavior plan. In my opinion, this is something that should have been implemented a long time before I got there. I have taught at public schools and was very able to control behavior with my other students under a variety of circumstances and with a variety of difficulties at home.

    Advice to Management

    You need to make things more manageable for teachers in order to decrease the turnover. You are only as strong as your talented teachers and hardworking administrators. You need stronger curriculum that they can use so that they aren't creating their own materials from scratch, and I would highly suggest an Aspire-wide behavior and classroom management plan to get students on the right track from Day 1 and establish an Aspire culture.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Mostly great people. Sink or swim environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    All of the people are really nice. Lots of opportunities to volunteer at the schools and see the students, which makes it a lot easier to appreciate the work done at the Home Office.

    Cons

    Most managers are too busy to support and train their staff. No opportunities to learn or grow.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in Home Office staff to reduce the turnover and make people happier.


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