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STAR Education Reviews

12 reviews

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Katya Bozzi
5 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (8)

    "Programs Flow From The Top Down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full-Time Supervisor Level in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Full-Time Supervisor Level in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Individual programs can be strong until tampered with by upper management.
    The heart of some of the employees.

    Cons

    The major issues are with the power-chain of the organization. There is no structure in place for employees to develop the necessary skills to advance within the organization. As stated before, the meetings are pointless and usually turn into conversations that are of little importance to anyone. The high turnover and regular lawsuits resulting from payroll and HR disputes lead to a disruptive work environment with little to no professionalism. The program has SO much potential, but any organization is only as strong as its Board and Executive Director. Unfortunately, the Executive Director, although well meaning, is incapable of managing the program and is further hindered by her two children who are unqualified to contribute in any meaningful way. The Board, which is hand picked and there for appearance only, is inept and does not actually accomplish anything of meaning. This is an organization that is responsible for thousands of children, yet cannot manage itself in any way except through intimidation and capricious financial and employment decisions. The CFO needs to be actually trained in finance, the CEO needs to have a background in Leadership and Executive Development, and the individual department heads should all have significant experience in education and curriculum development. As a non-profit, how is there no development department???!!!??? The Board needs to make the difficult decision to replace the Executive Director and create a new organizational structure that can turn this organization into something great. Is it even legal to have employees walk so far to work? Shouldn't we have parking for a job we have to do on-site for most of the day?

    Advice to Management

    Have the hard conversation about the direction of the company and let the employees know what the plan for succession is. That way, if it is accurate that the daughter of the current director is taking over, employees can make the responsible decision to leave now. In the interim, a solid development department with qualified personnel should be put in place. The CFO should retire and a new, external group should come in to actually effectively manage the resources that the company has.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "False Hope at its Finest"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Literacy Teacher in West Hollywood, CA
    Current Employee - Literacy Teacher in West Hollywood, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at STAR Education part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The children. They have an insatiable hunger to learn more about what they're passionate about and it's truly moving to watch them grow.

    Cons

    Management is a poor representation of the company's mission and flat or do not care about it's emplyees. They would rather promote a family member or favorable friend instead of a hardworking employee who is credentialed and deserves it. Site directors might appear friendly enough at first, but are completely different people when they are on site. Be prepared for department heads to make excuses for their rude and unprofessional behavior, when it really isnt that difficult of an issue to resolve. Meetings are long, boring and unhelpful. The same people stand up to share the same story about how they either were in the star program, or how their kids are. It feels like a distraction from them being unprepared like most of the meetings are. The CEO along with other henchmen will talk for endless hours about unrelated topics and likes barking at you if you are on your phone. In the past, some people have gotten fired for doing it, and they show no shame in continuing to do it, regardless of the fact that we are all adults. Classroom management training is held by a site director who supervises an elementary in an affluent area and mind you her tactics will not work at every school nor will the children respond as abruptly as her own. Be prepared to have your own appropriate ways to keep your classroom in order. Tons of quality teachers disappear yet the same gossipy, fake, uninspired people remain getting placed on a salary to refuse teachers of raises and management will approach you to write a fake review to simply make their company look good.

    Advice to Management

    A pie does not cover up the fact that teachers have not received raises. Hire people who can handle stress and know better than to blow up on teachers over the natural shortcomings of their jobs. Keep the names of people who have voluntarily quit out of your mouths, because it's sheerly none of your business why they've left and is in no way professional. Do not use children a teacher has a repore with as a way to manipulate them into working countless days for little pay.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Bad management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor, College Or University in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Instructor, College Or University in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at STAR Education part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to visit schools, be in nice areas, employees are usually friendly, not really deal with a customer service/retail type job. Kids can be cool (although not always the case)

    Cons

    You're gonna get a cool number to as a wage but then realize you're gonna get close to no hours because no school wants a star program, you're gonna have to do all sorts of stuff you're not even qualified for. You're gonna have to go to meetings really early in the morning and you'll never get a raise. Also, people will call you at the last minute to try and get you to work a spot. Also, the CEO will tell you the same damn story about her self every time you go to one of these meetings.


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "Really care about the Kids but serious mismanagement of company and poor compensation."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people that you work with on a regular basis are extraordinary. Very flexible schedule and the company is All About the Kids.

    Cons

    The upper management of this company is atrocious and is driving it into the ground. The CEO pays her two children for doing negligible work and distracting current employees. Many days they don't come in, when they do you wish they didn't. "No longer offering raises to any employees". There is very little room for upward movement in the company and once attained is extremely stressful. The accounting department has a couple bright spots but overall is overbearing and incompetent at their jobs. The people that run the company really have no idea how many of the employees feel about the environment or the amount of work that people actually do on a daily basis. Most people feel under appreciated and overworked.

    Advice to Management

    Need to completely change upper management and restructure power scheme within the company. CEO and family need to go.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Poor Business Ethics"

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

    Pros

    It is a good opportunity for those looking for a career in teaching.

    Cons

    Poor business ethics such as hiring and management communication.

    Advice to Management

    When hiring someone find out if they are truly fit for the position. Do not hire them and 2 months later decide they are not competent in the position they are improving upon.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Delusions Dysfunction Disrespect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time

    Pros

    Working with kids is the only reason to work for this company. They do also have good coffee and there are some very nice people working there.

    Cons

    Where to start? When you Google "Checklists of Cult Characteristics", you can get a good idea of what it is like working for STAR Education. The central office is a chaotic beehive with fluorescent lights and screeching birds. The business structure can be aptly described as a maniacal octopus with 69 arms; none of which can properly communicate to one another. This is not the fault of all employees, teachers or many off site staff and directors. The head of the octopus is a delusional narcissist who relies on sycophants to run the operation. They are behest to the leader and all others are beholden to them. It's like a child trying to run a factory. I could go one with the stories, but here's a quick list.
    1. You have to pay for parking.
    2. There is not any proper work space in the central office - it is not unusual to see peoples crouched in corners on reams of paper with a crappy laptop.
    3. There are often senior employees screaming, crying shrieking children running around the office.
    4. Meetings are called by the CEO at random like a town crier - "Hey, everyone, "blank" wants to you all to meet." - Does not really matter if you are in the middle of something or need to leave. This is all on a whim.
    5. Said meetings go over the same thing every time.
    6. CEO meetings end with a story and thank you to all the "lovely people" and some hummus.
    7. Payroll is an utter nightmare.
    8. They don't fire people. They just treat you like crap until you quit.
    9. The favoritism of sycophants
    10. Do not appreciate or encourage new ideas or growth
    11. Hypocrisy - fellow employee was dating another employee. they were told they could not eat lunch together anymore because people were made "uncomfortable". The same people that bring their ill behaved children to run around the workplace.
    12. Walking the hall is like walking down a city street and being pulled into an alley by a shady guy to make a deal. Difference is, it's not a shady guy or alley, but a passive aggressive supervisor wanting to talk smack in the "baby room" of the CEO's granddaughter.
    13. Churn and burn- they would rather use you up until you leave than treat you properly and a professionally.
    14. The required T-Shirts are garbage quality.
    15. "Mandatory" events throughout the year during the weekend - no compensation,
    16. Fluctuating pay rates for staff and teachers.
    17. If you do not drink the Kool-Aid, you will be effectively shunned - not fired, just shunned.
    18. No time to thank you for a job well done, or for putting out the multiple fires you encounter due to the lack of management.
    19. The level of mental and physical exhaustion is not commensurate to the pay. Not by a long shot.
    20. HIGH turnover.
    21. CEO unqualified to run what could be a great organization.
    22. No middle management.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure. Create a qualified administration from CEO, CFO, Payroll and HR on down. There is not a development department. There is no middle management to facilitate communications. Do not rely on people who can barely grasp the intricacies of payroll and human resources ( nor should they have to ) to disseminate vital information and make sure policies are upheld. Have a parking facility. It is absurd to require transcripts for part-time teachers who are being paid so little and will have to be subject to the disorganization and chaos.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Cake and Scare Tactics"

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

    I worked at STAR Education full-time

    Pros

    Kids are great to work with, and you get the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society. Lots of cake, if you work in the main office.

    Cons

    Poor management. Nepotism runs wild and you have no opportunity to advance unless you play this game. Nothing is based on merit. You will receive cake instead of a raise, as the Executive Director doesn't really understand modern business. Extremely high turnover, as people catch on to the major problems with this company.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house! Get rid of the phony 'Controller' and employ some people in management who understand business and the value of respecting employees.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Pass up the opportunity"

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

    Pros

    The only pro is the kids. They are fun and vibrant and although they're lack of listening can get rather frustrating, they are worth the effort.

    Cons

    Star is a very misleading company. They will provide the resources you need for your lessons, but besides that they do not provide much training, and by much I mean none at all, specifically for teachers developing curriculum and lesson plans. They are flawed in that there are some site supervisors who are very unfit and unprofessional. Coordinators and upper management are extremely gossipy, and rather than creating a healthy atmosphere for growth and productivity, make it feel very uncomfortable to ask for help and ridiculed particular staff and showed favoritism to others. There was no real healthy relationships among staff and supervisor because of the unprofessional and even two-faced environment. (If you come to certain supervisors in confidence, expect for parents and other staff to know all of your business) If you make a mstake, possibly even the same mistake that one of the more favored staff members make, you will be fired on a whim, because you are indisposable. Don't let the idea of intolerance fool you. The company as a whole has lots of holes and there is something not quite right about it. Do not work here find something else that can better fulfill your needs and help you keep your sanity,

    Advice to Management

    Rather than firing staff for trivial mistakes and taking the word of some as gold, take a look at site supervisors and upper management because there is a lot of truth that is either embellished or withheld. Your company does good thing for kids, but as far as morale employee relations, you guys suck and do not have a very discerning eye.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Disorganized and inefficient"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time

    Pros

    Great people at this organization. Many people who are willing to sacrifice their time/energy to the enrichment of students. Lots of great students and kids, making the job bearable.

    Cons

    Disorganized, poorly managed, nepotism, does not reward employees, low pay, poor accounting practices, no room for advancement. The list of cons continues, but turnover is a great indicator of employee satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house! Company needs a new Accounting Department, and to put the emphasis back on the students. Hire professionals who understand the product / service they're selling. Put egos aside to address actual student concerns.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Questionable management ethics but well-meaning co-workers."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at STAR Education full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most people doing the day-to-day work are very nice and hard-working people. Everyone is doing their best to improve the lives of children through after school education. They have some cool programs for kids. Most employees are kind and great co-workers. There can be some flexibility with work hours within reason.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, this company is run more like a fraternity or sorority house and the top management (which is really just one person) bases many decisions on emotion and what feels like a strange popularity contest with the employees. Basically if you're in, you're in. But if you are not liked or you do or say anything that threatens the establishment, you're fair game for ridicule or justifiable firing. I've heard well-meaning, hard-working employees scolded like children in the open office environment. It is unprofessional, unfair and can create a "walking on eggshells" office environment.

    This management style leads to unfairness across the board and little accountability at any level. STAR is run by a mother and her two grown children. They are the kind of people who would rather buy you lunch or a birthday cake than actually give you a raise or genuine praise for a job well done. Anyone who questions the integrity of the company or suggests a better way to do things is either labeled a trouble-maker and demonized or simply gotten rid of and then bad-mouthed once they are gone. It can be a toxic environment.

    The company is technically a non-profit and management is always complaining in large group meetings that they are broke. But there are no real steps taken to change or improve the situation. The financial stress is placed back on the employees (as an explanation why no one gets raises) while management over-commits resources. There is health insurance for full-time employees but no retirement benefits of any kind. The majority of employees are not full time and treated as somewhat expendable. They are constantly interviewing for new people.

    The parking situation has already been mentioned and is truly atrocious. Some employees have to walk several blocks to find parking just to attend weekly mandatory meetings. But management has reserved parking spaces so they never really address it as the true problem it is. Many of the best people end up leaving for a more professional environment.

    Advice to Management

    Develop more professional management practices and adopt a conflict of interest policy that is also followed. Develop better transparency as a non-profit organization. Stop using guilt to motivate employees into unpaid volunteerism.



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