Reading Partners Reviews | Glassdoor

Reading Partners Reviews

Updated March 21, 2017
70 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Michael Lombardo
29 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Reading Partners does the best job of volunteer management that I have ever experienced (in 15 reviews)

  • Students receive positive one on one interactions with volunteer tutors and you can really see their growth over the course of the year (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Americorps members only serve between 1-2 years (in 14 reviews)

  • Working at your school site as a Site Coordinator can be tough as you are generally the only Reading Partners employee actually stationed at that site (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Site Coordinator"

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

    I worked at Reading Partners full-time

    Pros

    Supportive management
    Great relationships formed with students, teachers, staff

    Cons

    Volunteer-based tutoring can lessen the incentive for full commitment by tutors


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Dysfunctional organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Reading Partners full-time

    Pros

    Reading Partners has a critical mission and hires some of the best talent out there.

    Cons

    This is, without a doubt, the most dysfunctional organization I've ever worked for. Every 6-8 months, a major revenue shortfall is announced with pressure on regions to cover the cost of shared services that are not delivered as needed. The national executive and development team brings in very little revenue, while constantly increasing expectations and changing processes for regions. New systems are brought on without proper vetting, testing, training, or staff support. Rather than take a strong program model and make it the best it can be, there is a constant need to try the next exciting initiative. This stretches staff thin and means nothing can be done with excellence. Reorganizations happen at least 1-2 times a year, making it impossible to become an expert at your job, let alone get support or know who is doing what. If you take a job here, expect to work at least 50 hours per week, with little recognition for your contribution from the organization.


  3. "Worst Management - No Leadership - Zero Accountability"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Reading Partners full-time

    Pros

    Important mission serving great need in the community. Children need this support to succeed in life.

    Cons

    It is a leaderless organization without a CEO since 2015. Completely inefficient with lack of professionalism and accountability. Poor productivity and communication. If any movement on initiatives, it is complete chaos, not fully thought out and rooted in complete nonsense only creating more work with negative impact on productivity. I've never seen such mismanagement in my entire career.

    Advice to Management

    Cut out the entire executive team except for the just hired CEO. Let them rebuild a new leadership team, that functions. I would recommend eliminating all executive members for Regional Operations and Development teams and only keep Program Executive. I would invest in Community Outreach and Development since it's a volunteer driven organization. If you cut the fat at the top perhaps and or re-hire talented management, you can create a functioning leadership team and afford retirement funds to ensure employee loyalty for middle management.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great and Rewarding Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Literacy Intervention Tutor
    Current Employee - Literacy Intervention Tutor
    Recommends

    I have been working at Reading Partners part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Fulfilling work
    - Volunteers are great, and really care about the students
    - Americorps Site Coordinator is always helpful and available

    Cons

    - Sometimes there are unpredictable scenarios, but it's expected when working with children


  6. "Americorps member"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Reading Partners full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fast paced, busy environment. People are passionate about children

    Cons

    The pay is very low

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  7. "Good for what it is"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Classroom Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Classroom Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Reading Partners (Less than a year)

    Pros

    High success rate for the students, easy to follow along with the curriculum, very flexible

    Cons

    Not many paid jobs, high turn-over of tutors.

    Advice to Management

    It's really great what you do, but you'd retain tutors better if you paid them.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great People, outstanding mission"

    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

    I worked at Reading Partners full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - work with like minded do-gooders
    - fun culture
    - value driven organization
    - thoughtful + engaging community

    Cons

    - lacks upward mobility for entry level staff
    - many chiefs
    - lots of work, little pay
    - workplace gossip


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing first job out of college"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Site Coordinator in Bedford, TX
    Former Employee - Site Coordinator in Bedford, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Reading Partners (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to serve as a mentor to children and have your own classroom where you get to interact with school staff and administration as well as with awesome community volunteers that dedicate their time to teach children how to read. Great opportunity to learn managerial skills and impact the community.

    Cons

    Stipend position. Long hours of community service. Initial training was not sufficient.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Too many chiefs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Reading Partners (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The mission of this organization is to provide support for kids in underserved communities in learning to read at grade level. That is very commendable, but the current upper management doesn't display the passion for this purpose.

    I clicked "recommend" below because of the mission, but I would warn anyone I referred about the problems with upper level management so they wouldn't be surprised. I also gave a thumbs up to the CEO Michael Lombardo, but the board fired him in June 2016. There is not a CEO as of December 2016. There is a person with a Chief People Officer title working in an interim CEO role while the search for a CEO happens. I will celebrate my one year with RP early in 2017 and I have some regrets, but I really value the kids in these schools. I keep my teaching skills in this sector instead of the private schools of my past because these kids need this kind of program.

    Cons

    Ever since the board fired Michael Lombardo as CEO, it's been a nosedive to being a horrible place to be. A whole bunch of people who were middle level employees, likely not making much more than $50k apiece, were let go while another bunch of people with Chief as the first word of their title stayed around with their 6-figure salaries. I was new so I was surprised I was kept.

    Americorps site coordinators try to pay their rent and likely qualify for food stamps.

    The board isn't paying attention to what is really going on; if they were, there would be a CEO making a modest salary rather than one comparable to a private for-profit company, and a strong Controller to manage the financial side of things. There would be no other Chiefs of Anything. This place does not need a bunch of Chiefs. It needs a bunch of people who care more about children than padding their own wallets.

    There would be employees hired to push legislators to properly fund public education and programs like this, and a HR department that knows something about HR. I won't even go in to how completely useless my orientation was when I started. Community outreach is critical for this kind of operation and the engagement of volunteers (as opposed to paid tutors) should be a high priority.

    Instead, the priority is on 6 figure salaries to people with a Chief of Something as a title, and way too many people with a title that starts with Executive.

    These are children on the free lunch program for God's sake.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in infrastructure. I tutor alongside volunteer tutors and paid tutors too. People don't even know who they are supposed to go to with a question. Quit hiring Chiefs and get rid of most of the current Chiefs and invest that money into real people who can support the program staff. Appreciate the real people who work for you and show that appreciation by taking money out of the bucket labeled "Chief" or "Executive" and instead put it into your employee retirement accounts.


  11. "The RSC Life"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Regional Site Coordinator
    Current Employee - Regional Site Coordinator
    Recommends

    I have been working at Reading Partners full-time

    Pros

    The kids are adorable, and it's so cute how excited they get when they see you. Honestly the kids are the best part of the job. Seeing them improve their reading skills and hearing from the teachers that your kids (they will all become 'your' kids) are doing really well or have more confidence or have started participating in class really makes it worth it. And when they bring you cool erasers or the stickers out of their happy meal or candy after Halloween just because they love you, your heart will melt. For an AmeriCorps position, the stipend is pretty good, and the amount depends on where you live. I like that being a Regional Site Coordinator allows you to go to different school sites because I would be bored sitting at the same school everyday like the Site Coordinators have to do. Also, maybe it's just my region, but my coworkers are awesome. Most of us are cool outside of work, and being close to one another makes the job easier. We're very supportive of one another and when anyone needs an last minute fill in for a tutoring spot or someone to come in on Friday for make up sessions, there's always someone willing to do it. RSC's get mileage for traveling between their school sites, which is dope.

    Cons

    Training is long and boring. I literally didn't have the attention span to digest, understand and remember most of what we learned. It's necessary, I guess, but by the end of the first week I was over it and ready to just start working with the kids. I really hate the ongoing trainings we have when the kids are out of school, even though I know it's necessary so we can hit that 1700 hours by the end of our term. TRS is awful. I'm not even going to explain it, just know it sucks. For awhile I didn't really know what my job was, but it's one of those things where you just have to go with the flow and you'll figure it out along the way. It can be hard if the staff or teachers in the school you are working in aren't particularly cooperative or supportive, and that's something that just has to be worked out on a case by case basis. Reminding people that you are there to help the kids seems to go a long way in my experience. I would say that the biggest con I've dealt with so far this year is that there are constraints on how much you can actually do. For example, I work in a school where 100 of the third graders were referred to us because they were significantly behind grade level in reading. Even if we had enough tutors to cover all of those kids, we don't have the space for 100 kids let alone 100 just from the third grade. So we have this huge list of kids that we just don't have room for. Knowing that you can't get everybody is kind of heartbreaking, especially when they're excited to come. I will walk down the hall in any of my schools and multiple kids come up to me and ask "when are you going to get me?" or "can I come this time?" The exact same thing happens every time I pick up and drop off the children that are already enrolled in our program. Some other issues are that things can be unorganized at times, but that may be because I work in one of the newer regions.

    Advice to Management

    My biggest advice to management would be that when there is a major move to a new system (like TRS), pilot it in one region first, let that region become experts/guinea pigs and work all the kinks out and then let it out to the rest of us. Trying to learn TRS while everyone else, including our supervisors, was also learning it has been kind of a train wreck (which I know that you know because I got that apology email regarding TRS. I accept your apology by the way).



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