Baltimore City Public School System Reviews in Maryland | Glassdoor

Baltimore City Public School System Maryland Reviews

Updated October 19, 2017
119 reviews

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2.9
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Baltimore City Public School System CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises
Sonja Brookins Santelises
11 Ratings

119 Employee Reviews

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

  • Good benefits, competitive salary, professional development (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is basically non-existent until you've been teaching for several years (in 8 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A difficult yet rewarding job"

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

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

    Pros

    Working with students
    Giving back to the community

    Cons

    Classrooms are underfunded and rarely have enough materials for students.
    You have to spend your own money to supply students with necessities for learning.
    Little support from administration when working with verbally and physically violent students.
    Work life balance is basically non-existent until you've been teaching for several years.


  2. "Intricate bureaucracy with limited effectiveness"

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

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

    Pros

    Individuals within certain departments (at the district) work diligently and support student learning.

    Rewarding, yet challenging, school-based work

    Cons

    Mandates are passed down from district to school with minimal rationale or explanation.

    Union negotiations protect long-tenured employees that are perpetually ineffective.

    Persistent "gotchya" culture that pervades district-->school and school--> staff.

    Advice to Management

    Tighten up the bureaucratic inefficiencies that cost students money and reduce wrap around services.

    Invest in talent. Real talent. Not long-term tenured teachers that slip by through the system loopholes.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Not for me"

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

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

    Pros

    Kids are great, for the most part

    Cons

    Teachers have to spend their own money as a majority of school have a lack of supplies.
    Lack of administration support
    High turnover rate
    Bad practices in general
    Parking at some sites is minimal
    Work-life balance - One principal told me this "I don't care about your life"

    Advice to Management

    Actually support teachers instead of claiming to support teachers. Don't blame teachers when there's no training or support. Hire more/better substitutes.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay but tough working with troubled youth."

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

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

    Pros

    Great pay and good rapport with colleagues. The benefits are excellent and the pay rate is higher than most places for this work.

    Cons

    Children come from very disadvantaged homes and bring their difficulties to school thus creating conflicts among themselves. There is little consistency to kind of discipline and or behavioral management that is applied in the schools. It can be quite challenging when the rules change regularly and the expectations for the teachers and students are not clear always.

    Advice to Management

    Provide teachers with direct training and then consistent support with classroom management. Have the plans in place before the school year begins and make sure all staff are clear about how the plan will be implemented. Make certain also that parents are not able to reach the classrooms without an escort and / or forewarning to the teachers. Teachers should be given full support for a quiet uninterrupted teaching environment at all times.


  5. 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.


  6. "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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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


  10. "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.


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