Aspire Public Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Aspire Public Schools Reviews

Updated January 11, 2017
10 reviews

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3.0
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Carolyn Hack
1 Rating

10 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • access to great professional development (in 8 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Work life balance needs more attention (in 6 reviews)

  • There are the standard long hours associated with all teaching jobs (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Aspire- an amazing place, that's not for everyone..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Los Angeles, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good pay and great benefits.
    Fantastic professional development opportunities for teachers.
    Collaborative and positive atmosphere - excellent teammates.
    High expectation for students and staff members - rigorous academic program
    Abundant access to instructional resources and technology.

    Cons

    The workload for teachers is tremendous and for many unsustainable - most teachers stay hours past school and work weekends. Thus, very high turnover rates.
    Evaluative structure for teachers and administrators needs improvement - the rubric and observation cycles feel very much like a dog and pony show.
    Very political - It's clear upper management/leadership plays favorites so many administrators are promoted who lack experience, merit, or instructional knowledge.
    Students are over-tested and too great an emphasis is placed on achieving higher test scores.
    Lack of resources exist for families/students with special needs, who need social-emotional or behavioral support. Systemic issues within the organization when it comes to supporting these students.

    Advice to Management

    Take some real actions (besides endless surveys and "Town Hall" meetings) to address the teacher workload and turnover rate. Reduce number of Aspire-wide assessments - the kids are over tested. Prioritize the needs of the whole child versus the test score.


  2. "Good Pay But Tough Schools"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher in Vallejo, CA
    Former Employee - Substitute Teacher in Vallejo, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay is good for a sub. teacher. They do train fairly well and you know what's expected of you for the most part.

    Cons

    Schools and the kids can be very tough. It is a challenging population and if you do not have strong classroom mgmt. skills you're going to be eaten alive. This was particularly true with the middle schoolers.

    Advice to Management

    Give teachers more training on classroom mgmt. and how to interact with the diverse populations at your schools.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Rating"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Guest Teacher in Memphis, TN
    Current Employee - Guest Teacher in Memphis, TN

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools (Less than a year)

    Pros

    working in the field of education offers great experience to a non-licensed guest teacher

    Cons

    Not reliable if using as a supplement to primary income....teacher pool may not present consistent work

    Advice to Management

    n/a


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Really weigh pros and cons"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    *Awesome collaborations with your group
    *They give you time to prep/plan every day during the day. So while you prep/plan, the students are at specials.
    *Students get different types of specials--art, science, music, and PE to name a few.
    *Emphasizes on classroom community and the students do so well!
    *Lots of job opportunities all year long.

    Cons

    *Lack of support from upper management from an aggravated parent to other staff members
    *Surveys are not complete accurate representations of the staff. They also promise confidentiality, but reveal the names with the comments and sometimes it creates an unpleasant aftermath between staff.


  6. "Love the kids, not the staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great HR department, yearly professional development trainings

    Cons

    -Some great teachers, but they can't identify with the kids/population they're serving


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Wonderful for low socioeconomic students, but not so great for teachers with children of their own."

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

    I have been working at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Terrific learning environment for single, or young, teachers who have not yet had children of his/her own. Very data driven which serves to really focus on students' needs. If you are lucky enough to be on a good team for your grade level span, you will truly learn what collaboration and teamwork means. Ideal environment for first year teachers who are willing to learn and give 150% every day! Work load has improved with the incorporation of computers in each classroom. The organization's motto and values put students first. Plenty of opportunities for growth and leadership if you can handle the additional duties and responsibilities and can take feedback well.

    Cons

    Work-life balance has been and continues to be an issue for most teachers. The higher up the ranks you go, the less, or so it seems, work you put in. These are positions OUT of the classroom. If a principal favors you, your life will be much easier and certain responsibilities will be overlooked. However, if you are on the other end, be prepared to be given negative feedback veiled in "concern" of your data and teacher evaluations. A bad principal can make every day a bad one, but that may be true at any school. Don't expect HR to be on your side either. If you are on a competitive team of teachers, they may NOT truly be collaborative and share since money was previously tied into performance. Teachers have consistently asked for more pay (it is supposed to be addressed/fixed this year). Health benefits are good. Awesome team leaders can make life so much easier, but bad leaders make you look incompetent while he/she shines.

    Advice to Management

    Keep asking for feedback from your teachers and continue with the open door policy so teachers can alert you directly of any principal/administration concerns without retaliation. Everyone at home office seems like they truly care about the mission of Aspire and all the sacrifices that teachers have made, but there is still a disconnect between home office and how the L.A. principals are running the schools. High turnover in L.A. Might be time to analyze why our teachers are leaving.


  8. "Strong mission; troubling work culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Aspire Public Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Data-driven decision making; focused on instruction and student achievement; hardest working teachers you will ever meet; wonderful kids and families.

    Cons

    Strained, distrustful relationships between admin and teachers; extremely long work hours; minimum employee rights - employees were fired unfairly or put in such difficult situations that would lead to dismissal or resignations.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on building strong working relationships; staff morale; and authentic team-building.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great experience, but I'm tired!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Hard Work and Long Hours But You Do IT for the Students!
    Current Employee - Hard Work and Long Hours But You Do IT for the Students!

    Pros

    The students, the results, and the intrinsic rewards. Some flexibility in some jobs about dress codes, time off, etc. Teachers get less flexibility.

    Cons

    Compensation, long days, not as much autonomy as expected. Everything (feedback, PD days, the few compensation dollars) are given to teachers; Corporate staff left out of most of those things.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great for Brainwashing Children"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Elementary Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Elementary Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    -Lots of training
    -Close-knit teams
    -Friendly families
    - Very nice benefit options if you are single
    - Administration is always encouraging new teaching methods

    Cons

    - LONG HOURS (even for a teacher)
    - Very "test" oriented, little time for teaching children real-life skills
    - Nearly no science, art, or music for the children
    - Three years, no raise
    - Administration often judged a teacher's success by the organization, cleanliness, and quietness of a classroom
    - Teachers were constantly stressed about 'state testing,' and had little time to let kids be kids

    Advice to Management

    Stop wasting money on salaries for upper level people and for new software and find a way to pay your teachers what they're worth.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Great Mission"

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

    Pros

    Our work really does matter, we are making a difference here.

    Cons

    no work life balance. like everywhere in California, teachers are underpaid

    Advice to Management

    Since the Founder left we are not the same.



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