Baltimore City Public School System Reviews in Baltimore, MD | Glassdoor

Baltimore City Public School System Baltimore Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
109 reviews

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Baltimore, MD

3.0
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Baltimore City Public School System CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises
Sonja Brookins Santelises
9 Ratings

109 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and competitive salary (in 10 reviews)

  • Good pay, short hours, and long summers make it a tolerable experience (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • The work life balance is also not the best (in 6 reviews)

  • Lack of support given to individual schools, good administrators, and teachers (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "All depends on school leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working at BCPSS all depends on your school. I currently work for a great principal who encourages me in my own career, lets me plan my own standards-aligned curriculum, and provides opportunities for teachers to be stakeholders in school leadership. We also have a comprehensive school-wide discipline plan in place and support for teachers who are implementing that plan.

    Cons

    Principals have almost unprecedented autonomy in city schools and a bad principal (or even a great principal with ineffective Assistant Principals) can tank the culture, climate, and budget of a school. There is no protection for first-year teachers against ineffective principals. Principal evaluations are based in part on school-wide data; principals with low data are expected to have a certain number of teachers on staff who are rated as "ineffective" in their evaluations to account for low data. This becomes a huge problem for 1st year teachers -- if you are rated as ineffective in your first year of teaching, you cannot continue to teach in BCPSS. I know multiple skilled teachers whose principals rated them ineffective in order to hit a quota. Essentially, the evaluation system is set up in such a way that principals are extremely incentivized to blame poor data on a rotating door of teachers they rate "ineffective," rather than looking meaningfully at school-wide systems and leadership that have caused low outcomes for students.


  2. "Mixed Bag School System"

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

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Baltimore City Public Schools have some amazing teachers and administrators at some schools. I have worked at two City schools. One school had fantastic and inspiring leadership and PLC. The other had a culture of administrative bullying. BCPS has great opportunities for pay raises. They have a 3-tiered program: Standard, Professional, and Model pathways. By taking Achievement Unit (AU) courses with practical components, teachers can "jump" pathways for significant pay raises. Starting salary was around $47,000. In two years, I moved up to $49,000. I completed coursework for the professional pathway, which would have been a $10,000 pay raise, but I turned it down for other professional opportunities due to poor school leadership. If you make your way to the Model pathway, you can make over $90,000. This will probably take you at least five years or more. This is a school system that rewards teachers who are willing to put in the work. The insurance benefits are also insanely good.

    Cons

    As I said earlier, some schools in the system are managed very well. Others are managed very poorly. One of the schools I worked for had a 30% turnover rate each year for good reason. The principal regularly bullied new teachers until they resigned. There was also a good deal of corruption at the school. Teachers were also lied to by administrators on issues that affected our evaluations. Overtime hours were insane.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees. Treat teachers with respect. Listen to their ideas. Support teachers. Be honest and open with teachers. Worry about the big picture and not the minutia.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Be Ready!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great faculty! Great healthcare! Great downtown in Baltimore.

    Cons

    Poor organizational management, accountability and coaching for teachers in system. Teachers are blamed for low grades even with poor attendance of students. Certification process is slow and archaic. Parents can be aggressive. Toxic atmosphere to work.

    Advice to Management

    Support teachers.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Too much time is required for one person"

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

    I have been working at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are great for individuals with families.

    Cons

    The time commitment required is ridiculous.

    Advice to Management

    More responsibility concerning student accomplishment should be shifted to the parents and students.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    small class size, supportive parents

    Cons

    lack of discipline for the students, lack of resources


  6. "Lead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - PMP in Baltimore, MD
    Former Contractor - PMP in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Diversity of work environment within City School Network

    Cons

    N/A good work ethics. More support is necessary to support your efforts.

    Advice to Management

    HIre more support staff.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Teacher"

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

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great professional development
    Resilient students and parents
    Plethora of resources

    Cons

    Biased principals who employed Gestapo like tactics
    Low morale at schools with cookie cutter principals who spent short time teaching and do not adequately understand pedagogy or child development

    Advice to Management

    Stop costing the system money by failing to retain good teachers.
    Be objective and not led by personal, petty vendettas
    Support your teachers to stabilize the school environment and boost morale

  8. "Enormous job, worth it if you can put in the time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Teacher in Baltimore, MD
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great relationships built with students/staff, opportunity to make lasting impact on the lives of children and culture of Baltimore City, competitive salary, great benefits, many supportive administrators and central office professionals, great opportunity for growth and professional development, 190 day school year

    Cons

    Facilities in bad need of updating, culture and climate of some schools is highly dysfunctional, teacher effectiveness evaluation system is based on small sample size of observation and includes factors beyond the teacher's immediate control (e.g., 15% on "school effectiveness rating", practically no work/life balance, especially in first 3-5 years, chronically underfunded system frequently runs out of money by end of school year


  9. "Teacher"

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

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent place to build on classroom skills

    Cons

    One downside would pay the payscale for teachers with Master Degrees


  10. "BCPS has its pros and cons."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Teacher, Secondary School in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Baltimore City Public School System full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is nothing more gratifying than helping students learn and build on their skills toward achievement. Teachers working collaboratively create an awesome environment.

    Cons

    BCPS teachers face formidable challenges due to unresolved societal issues that manifest themselves in off-task, disrespectful, violent, behavior in the classroom. Good teachers learn to manage this behavior and create a successful learning environment.

    Advice to Management

    Support teachers in every way and place the emphasis on improving education versus building administration.


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