San Francisco Unified School District Reviews | Glassdoor

San Francisco Unified School District Reviews

Updated August 3, 2017
120 reviews

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2.9
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San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard A. Carranza
Richard A. Carranza
17 Ratings

120 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Lots of dedicated teachers and opportunities for professional development (in 8 reviews)

  • The good schools offer collaborative environments with coworkers, professional development, and services for students who need extra support (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Lowest paying urban school district in US when adjusted for cost of living (in 5 reviews)

  • Low pay, very limited resources, and too many district level positions (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Noon Monitor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District part-time

    Pros

    A great way to support public education

    Cons

    Limited job hours - the position allows for 2 hours maximum per day.


  2. "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of dedicated teachers and opportunities for professional development

    Cons

    Big district, with lots of disorganization and mixed messages at the district level; pay not as high as it should be given the cost of living and the demands put on teachers

  3. "Good mission, needs to reprioritize"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time

    Pros

    - Work with people who care about the students

    Cons

    - Work with people who are burnt out

    Advice to Management

    - Stop expanding classes with more students than one teacher can handle
    - For students who have only been in the states for less than a year, push textbook companies to produce translated materials for students so they don't fall behind in subjects outside their English class
    - Collaboration among students who don't speak the same language can be difficult. Stop trying to enforce it on students who don't have the necessary vocabulary yet to hold up the conversations needed for group activities
    - Differentiating instruction and learning materials takes a lot of prep time. There needs to be a team of people who has access to the composition of students in every classroom and figure out out which teachers could potentially collaborate in lesson planning. All of that needs to be figured out way before the school years starts.
    - There's a lot of good ed tech out there, invest time in finding what's good and holding workshops to help teachers figure out how to use them. Again, before the school year starts.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "In-Human(e) No-Resources Department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The Core Values and the student centered mission of SFUSD is why public service oriented professionals want so desperately to see SFUSD achieve success when working here.

    Cons

    The pay is the worst, especially when in a Civil Service classification getting devalued daily in acts by Human Resources leaders daily and getting further stepped on by having a salary that is 22% lower than that of the same job that is done at another City and County of San Francisco agency.

    Poor negotiators with our Labor Union. SFUSD literally throws insults across the table at us, I recall one where a Human Resources leader belittled us for asking for a wage increase and said that he wanted a "Porsche but it didn't mean he was going to get it" and that he would "settle" for a less expensive car. He sat there, making more money than any of us lunchroom helpers and custodians combined throwing demeaning insults time and time again. He doesn't have to work a day with the students and yet he is presumed to know the value we provide to the students. Its pretty sick.

    They never come prepared to do labor negotiations either, most of the time is spent on SFUSD correcting typing errors on their poorly written proposals and not actually discussing and debating the content in the proposals. Overall they engage in surface bargaining and get a way with it year after year after year, making employees feel so incredibly invaluable, unappreciated, low and used. The only person to ever treat our Union and employees in general like real people with value and respect and actually was knowledgable about Human Resources was the Director of the Classified Staffing and I personally saw this young Black employee belittled and devalued day by day by HR executives to the point where he either decided to leave or was pushed out by racist HR and District leaders. Truly this is a huge loss to us employees who actually had someone who knew what they were doing in HR and someone who actually showed concern and care and value to us lowly employees. If not for him, I and many of my colleagues wouldn't have benefits, retirement, pay increases or permanent status in the City's merit system which give significant job protections. He single-handedly did for the District in one year, what the district HR couldn't do for 30 plus years. And they, HR leadership, push out talent like this.

    Apparently HR is a horrible place and getting worse, the turn over is insane. I've seen a near dozen people exit in the past few years. And it shows in their performance and operations. No one in executive leadership ever answers our calls of emails and when we submit HR information request, they go unanswered for months, we file grievances constantly because HR has messed up on simple data entry and are costing our members significant benefits, delaying their pay, losing our out of class pay request, taking away our premiums, placing classifications in the wrong bargaining unit, denying our tuition reimbursement request for no apparent reason at all and this typically affects low wage people of color living in the bay area. We are former SFUSD students and we are the community and yet we are treated like a bother, like we don't matter, like we don't work hard to provide the students with their best chance.

    I have witnessed HR literally talking about teachers, principals, students and its own staff like second-class citizens while I waited in the waiting room to discuss changes to my benefits, and this wasn't a front desk clerk, this was literally two top level HR leaders, using profanity and degrading language talking about the desire to fire folks because of them being an "annoyance". This behavior isn't ok for our students, but yet we continue to support HR in SFUSD while executives behave worst than children. One Board of Education member even had issues with a human resources leader talking about them negatively in and out of the workplace, including on social media. This HR person spends more time on Facebook than he does responding to employee concerns. We don't have an employee handbook, an overtime policy, a compensatory policy, or virtually any other policy that isn't a by-product of the ED Code coming from HR and we haven't for decades.

    Overall this is a poor place to work if you want to feel valued. I have been here for nearly 15 years and I have never felt that employees have been appreciated or valued in any meaningful way by HR. I have seen how racist leaders rise up while model employees of color are pushed aside and out. This is why the districts performance is so incredibly poor and retention is such a huge problem. If you like structure, policy, direction and value...run as far away from SFUSD as you can. There speciality is talking a mediocre talk, and not even coming close to walking in mediocrity.

    If you like to grow in your profession, run the other way from SFUSD because you have to be related to someone in power or White (or pass as White) to excel at SFUSD.

    If you are a hard worker and show value to all those you work with and work for, mainly the students, find another way to serve our community because SFUSD HR is failing the staff and the students here.

    If you enjoy feedback about your performance or you should be sexually harassed or discriminated against based on your race at SFUSD, run the other way because you get no remedy EXCEPT the rolling of eyes by a lackluster legal team and a form letter just saying that your experience is not valid...there isn't a conversation, there isn't a thorough investigation...just assumptions in a C.Y.A way by the District.

    If you like getting paid your accurate pay and getting paid on time, run clear the other way because that is incredibly rare for SFUSD. They have an archaic HR system and archaic payroll system that has more errors than success.

    If you like a cheerful and welcoming HR executive leadership and front desk staff, run clear the other way because that just is never happening at SFUSD. Expect to wait forever, be talked to like a child, told to sign in, sit down and shut up until someone can be bothered to leave their offices and talk to you about how you are at the wrong location for whatever it is you are asking for, even if it is directly HR related.

    If you don't like being yelled at when you receive a layoff letter and you ask questions about the procedure, do not go and talk to HR Leadership because she will violate contract language, deny you data that is clearly outlined as a right of yours upon request and literally scream at you hysterically because there is no checks and balances in HR, simply promotions for those that are vile human beings and culture-killer leaders.

    If you like being treated fairly, this isn't the place for you either. If you don't conform, you are wanted. You have ideas...not allowed. You think for yourself?-DEPLORABLE. You care about people....Never work for this HR leadership team.

    If you crave efficiency...again, don't work at SFUSD, as it is quite possibly the most inefficient HR in the history of Human Resources thanks to it's leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Quit, resign, retire, get fired, leave at all cost because your abusive leadership and your marginalizing behavior towards your own employees and people of color is an immense disservice to our students and to humanity in general. You desire to pay employees more, such as teachers and other crucial staff? Then you all in management need to take sever pay cuts, no Chief of Human Resources of SFUSD needs to be paid in excess of $120,000.00 when teachers make less than half that, and to be honest, the chief of HR gets paid well over $160,000 . How many executive directors does HR need!!!? And why do they keep quitting!? Yet you keep replacing them paying them $145,000 to do absolutely nothing. You bring outside lawyers who do not work for the district to negotiations four days a week for nearly 6 months, I assume that is one pretty penny, yet the district has a slew of lawyers in the District who are paid (annually by the District as they are staff) far more than they are worth...and yet, they don't go to negotiations? Mind you, our union doesn't bring an attorney to bargaining because its an insult, we would have thought you got the hint by now. Stop rewarding your own bad behavior and start really practicing what you speak. Live the Core values, demonstrate them, but do so in another company because you have abused your roles in the District for far to long.


  5. "Compensation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - TSA
    Current Employee - TSA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive and looking toward resolve

    Cons

    Not enough to survive in Bay Area

    Advice to Management

    More money p


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time

    Pros

    Lots of support and ability to develop the position based on individual school needs.

    Cons

    Due to the teacher shortage there is quick teacher turn over and the salary is low for the cost of living.


  7. "Difficult HR"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time

    Pros

    Great environment but work life balance is difficult.

    Cons

    HR is difficult to work with

    Advice to Management

    In order to recruit and maintain the best teachers, there needs to be better communication.

  8. "Big District = Big Problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Resource Specialist
    Current Employee - Resource Specialist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Always job opportunities
    -Lots of Opportunity for Professional Development

    Cons

    -Terrible Administration turnover
    -Unhealthy Teacher/Admin Relationships


  9. "School Nurse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time

    Pros

    Supportive District Management, opportunities for continuing education, positive work environment and friendly co-workers, flexible schedule around school hours (great for those with school-aged children), get to make an impact on children and families who need support

    Cons

    Large workload per compensation, too many roles to complete all task effectively, consistently

    Advice to Management

    Hire more nurses, assign nurses to one school only, prioritize nursing duties district-wide.


  10. "Functionally Dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Occupational Therapist
    Former Employee - Occupational Therapist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at San Francisco Unified School District full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As with many rural school districts, this one has it's strengths and weaknesses, most especially with SpEd.
    Pros: The people who care are amazing to work with!!

    Cons

    Cons: The people who care are overworked and underpaid, and too few...Resources are scarce, which leads to voluminous caseloads and an overwhelming workload. Too much top down policy making.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your leadership and professional development at a personal level. Establish positive workplace practices and reward those who step up and go over and above. Show gratitude for teachers and therapists by performing needs assessments and providing SpEd staff with tools to perform their jobs better.


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