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Chicago Public Schools Employee Reviews about "principals"

Updated Sep 20, 2020

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Found 35 of over 1,398 reviews

3.5
65%
Recommend to a Friend
56%
Approve of CEO
Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Janice Jackson  (no image)
Janice Jackson
222 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good pay, smart people, updated on the latest instructional best practices(in 36 reviews)

  • "Great benefits and retirement plans here(in 32 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Honestly can't trust principals(in 35 reviews)

  • "Poor HR Department (both at Central Office and in most schools)(in 20 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    This rating reflects the overall rating of Chicago Public Schools and is not affected by filters.

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    Reviews about "principals"

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    1. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Depends On Where You Teach

      Aug 23, 2020 - Teacher Librarian in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great salary, working with learners

      Cons

      Insecure principals, inequity and inequality in the school system.

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    2. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Thank god for the CTU keeping them honest

      Aug 12, 2020 - Teacher 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some good initiatives and departments, for example the Department of SSCE (Social Science and Civic Engagement) provides excellent support for teachers, and focused on doing the right sorts of student center learning practices, if you end up in a good school environment with the right people and supports, it can be wonderful

      Cons

      Many schools horribly run with abusive Principals; district priorities focus heavily on test scores, obsessive about showing data-driven growth to the detriment of actually educating young people; big inefficient bureaucracy

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    3. 2.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Needs to be strictly defined, feel this position is described in a very general way for deceptive purposes

      Apr 15, 2020 - Technology Coordinator 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      +Pay is alright +I'm given a fair amount of autonomy to perform my job +Sometimes feel like I'm making a difference.

      Cons

      -Honestly can't trust principals. -No leadership/guidance on how to best perform job. You are totally at the mercy of the principal/asst. principal and what they may or may not know, though you will still always be responsible for all they do not know.

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    4. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Not the best

      Sep 20, 2020 - English Teacher in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good pay/benefits, but only because they're fought for by the union.

      Cons

      Constant pressure to do more for less pay. Principals are given a lot of power and grievances often go dismissed,

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      1 person found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Former Contractor, more than 1 year

      Students Make the Work Worthwhile, Great Pay/Benefits, But Each School Is It's Own Universe

      Mar 20, 2020 - College & Career Coach 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      + Students are mostly positive kids who want to learn and plan for their future + Pay/benefits are one of the best in education. + There's over 600 schools in the district so there are a lot of opportunities if you want to stay within CPS

      Cons

      - Work/life balance (stress) can be overwhelming - Each school's community is a hit or miss. Some staff are friendly and working towards building a positive environment, while others are negative and others couldn't care less. - Overall the general vibe of CPS is toxicity. There is too much work for the amount of staff and depending on leadership, it can be managed toxicity or toxicity run rampant. I've been in CPS as a student and as a staff member and I don't think it is a healthy environment for individuals to thrive. As a student, it is very easy to fly under the radar as most schools seem to focus only on their high achieving and worse performing students. It's no surprise that the students in the middle receive some attention, but it really is up to them to get the help they deserve. As a staff member, I'm not sure how to describe it, but the general feeling I got from colleagues was one of quiet desperation. Even the staff that were liked by students/staff and were engaged, still had a tough time because of petty politics, busywork, or chasing data. I've been in 3 different schools and the people that coped the best were the ones who minded their own business, focused on their core work, didn't try to do extra work (organizing dances, coaching, etc.) and had an identity outside of work. But even then, I could still sense stress/frustration from them due to the circumstances. It's hard not to bring home work so at the end of the week, you are struggling to enjoy your off time and maintain some semblance of work/life balance. It's clear that many colleagues are not content or well balanced in their life (many are overweight, suffer from mental issues (anxiety, depression, anger management, paranoia), socially awkward, have financial issues, etc.). These are the average of the colleagues I've met. On the other extreme, there are people who are fed up with the system and are just counting down the days so depending on the leadership, the school can be very toxic, somewhat toxic, or healthy. Most principals that I've encountered function more as managers/politicians instead of leaders/coaches so you are fortunate if you land in a school where administration is positive and student centered. It's also clear that communication is very top down so it is hard to be heard if you're at the bottom of the totem pole. I've since left CPS and I'm not sure if I'll be back because when I think about it, while I've worked alongside hard working and admirable colleagues, I don't know if I want the type of life they had. For many CPS workers I think they are locked in because the pay is so good (relatively). It's not unusual for a 26 year old teacher to be making $60,000+, where in other districts they would be making $50,000 or less. I've met older professionals who I imagine were getting paid $70,000+, though they seemed stressed, but because of their commitments (kids, mortgage, etc.) they couldn't afford to leave. It's odd that a number of coworkers I met were making a good amount of money (in my opinion), but they never seemed to have enough (they were always asking for ways to increase their income by taking on other duties). One thing I also noticed was that many CPS workers were former CPS students themselves and it seemed like they came from low income backgrounds so they never really outgrew that low income mentality of not having enough resources and barely surviving. If you're interested in working for CPS I would say, make a plan of how long you'll be working there, develop a self-care plan, and focus on building transferrable skills to stay competitive.

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    6. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Good Organization with Good People

      Jul 5, 2020 - Special Education Teacher 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Support from veteran teachers and opportunities for advancement.

      Cons

      Lack of supportive principals and inconsistent visioning.

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Public school teacher

      Jan 30, 2019 - Music Teacher in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Solid employment. Wonderful community of professionals and development. Excellent benefits. Security once tenured. Holiday vacations. Decent work-life balance once you get the hang of it.

      Cons

      Mayor appointed board of education. Principals are typically insane people who cannot be trusted. Constant turnover of staff and leadership. Underfunded and underresourced. It can be a struggle to survive the first 2-5 years.

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    8. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Depends on the school

      Jul 20, 2014 - Middle School Teacher in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      If you want to work with kids who really need great teachers, CPS has a huge variety of schools to choose from. Many schools in CPS are giving kids in very rough neighborhoods a great education and the chance to really have options and choice in their lives. There are occasional professional development meetings that are helpful and the salaries are pretty good compared to other urban districts. The union is willing to fight, which is necessary in a political system as crazy as Chicago's. There is a good pension program and if you are lucky enough to find a great school with good leadership, you can be part of team that really has an impact on kids who really need good teachers.

      Cons

      There is enormous dead weight in CPS - bad principals, bad tenured teachers, bad new teachers and an at-times impossible to navigate Central Office. It seems like the folks downtown are constantly being moved around and extraordinarily ineffective school leaders are allowed to continue working while successful, dedicated, experienced (and new) teachers are bullied and left with very limited resources. There is a massive variety of experiences even between schools that are just a few blocks from each other. CPS does not have any resources to help teachers with classroom management, which is a major component of school success, and many CPS schools are totally unsafe for kids and adults.

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    9. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      THE WORST - Union doesn't help much either

      Apr 26, 2016 - Teacher in Chicago, IL
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You get paid more than private or charter, but honestly, it's not even worth it. If you work on the north side, you'll probably be fine, but the south side is not only dangerous, it lacks support and funding.

      Cons

      - Horrible principals who gossip behind your back and cause drama - Teachers who think they're still in high school and also like to cause drama - Union that is unresponsive/doesn't file your grievances in a timely manner - ABSOLUTELY NO WORK/LIFE BALANCE. I was working 12+ hour days, only to come home and work for another 3+ hours and I STILL wasn't doing things good enough. - Oh also, they can move you whenever they want. Within 6 months, I moved from 2nd to 2nd/3rd split (no experience with either) to 1st grade with no advance notice. - You don't even teach. You weed through the bureaucracy and hope to keep your head above water.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee

      deserves zero stars

      Aug 25, 2016 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      salary and benefits; annual raises

      Cons

      Unreasonable and hostile principals who bully their employees. They are dishonest on evaluations. They pick favorites. Dirty politics. Very toxic hostile work environment. People with health problems usually end up getting sicker and healthy teachers usually end up having health problems due to severe stress. Teachers often found in their rooms or bathrooms crying. Teachers often taking medical leaves because of the stress. Lack of support from Principals. If i could give this place zero stars, i would. The mayor is always closing down the schools and laying off teachers...lack of job stability. Zero work/Life balance. Principals will text you at 6pm while you are eating dinner and demand that you have something done by 7pm. If you don't see your phone and don't respond, you will be reprimanded when you get to work the next day.

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