Scholastic Reviews | Glassdoor

Scholastic Reviews

Updated June 7, 2017
80 reviews

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Scholastic Chairman, President, and CEO Dick Robinson
Dick Robinson
36 Ratings

80 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management would email at all hours making it difficult to keep up with daily internal correspondence (in 41 reviews)

  • company doesn't care much about its "freelance" employees (they have you on full-time mon-fri 9-5 but take very little care of these employees) (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "The place where careers go to die"

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

    I worked at Scholastic full-time

    Pros

    Nice, caring coworkers, good work/life balance

    Cons

    Not much possibility of advancement, constant restructuring, tremendous layoffs, company has gone downhill as a whole fairly rapidly.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Lost, Cheap, and Confused"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance for some, not so great for others.

    Cons

    Poor technology leadership
    Bad decision making
    Cheap, Cheap, Cheap
    No long term strategy or plan
    Childish leadership
    Middle management is lost and has no ability to lead their teams

    Advice to Management

    Think before you act. You spend all of your time emulating other companies you want to be like. Instead focus on being the best Scholastic can be. Trust the people to come up with the solutions that will drive the company forward.


  3. Helpful (9)

    "Watch your back and dummy up!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President Engineering in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President Engineering in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Scholastic full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Literacy on a global basis is the most rewarding work and everyone is part of it...whether they realize it or not.

    Cons

    Watch your back. If you have expertise in something like digital. Play it cool. Don't come across as knowing too much because you will be perceived as a threat to those that pretend to know but have no knowledge at all. When it comes to the website, the people running it have no expertise to back up their positions. They are pretenders at best. Be warned. If you are smart, RUN! If you have expertise and want excel, RUN! If you have ideas, take them with you while you RUN!

    Advice to Management

    Outsource all web operations and hire a company to do all of your content. You are bloated and spend millions of dollars a year on a site that can be run on less than 1 million a year. Take the savings and get some executive coaches that teach soft skills and team management...get back to the way the company used to be...remember when everyone liked each other?


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Closing a World of Possible"

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

    I worked at Scholastic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Excellent work / life balance
    - Moderately friendly atmosphere
    - Internal cafeteria and terrace

    Cons

    - Antiquated business model that is teetering on collapse
    - Outdated IT systems make doing your job near impossible
    - Promotions / raises are rare
    - Executive level fully comprised of ineffective and unqualified individuals, most of whom are in their position due to familial or geographical relations to the president
    - Misguided directives from higher-ups lead to vast amounts of stockholder value being spent on personal projects that are non necessarily Scholastic-related

    Advice to Management

    The problem with giving advice to management is that management is the problem with this company. A lot of those in power have only worked at Scholastic, so they are unaware how a real public company should operate. Instead of looking for ways to enhance the business, they instead bicker for hours at a time in weekly meetings where nothing gets accomplished.

    Aside from the obvious inefficiencies of the business model, additional cash is being wasted on the president's personal projects such as the side company that she owns as well as her blog. On the same note, a lot of spending decisions are not based on research, but instead are based on what kind of mood she is in at any given time.

    Lastly, Scholastic does not foster a collaborative work environment. There are many silos and within those silos, you have managers that have been in their positions 15+ years and have no desire to move. Because of that, you have disgruntled entry level and senior level employees that are failing to grow due to lack of mentorship, and will never see a promotion since the only move up is taken by someone with no intention to leave.

    I fully expect the company to go private on their 100 year anniversary.


  5. "QA working over time with out getting paid over time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Senior QA in New York, NY
    Former Contractor - Senior QA in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Scholastic as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    lots of contractors so you feel less out of the world
    you get same discount as employee in scholastic store
    people are quite hardworking

    Cons

    you are asked to apply for comp off for extra hrs they dont believe in paying that extra hrs and when you ask for comp off you will be given bussiness reasons why cant you take it at that time

    Advice to Management

    please treat contractors nicely


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Big Changes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Sales in Saint Louis, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people happy motivated environment great HR department, good benefits and bonuses a company that excels with trying to keep up with the latest employee perks such as a great beautiful office with occasional in house chair massage appointments available, great coffee bar, fresh fruit available all of the time and constant motivational contests with awesome prizes. There is also a gym and yoga classes available. Fabulous cafe on site and also a Doctor's office and full service bank and postal service within this office building. It is truly a great office setting. Base pay is great if you can meet set goals which are sometimes unreasonable your commissions are great as well.

    Cons

    The office space is amazing but unfortunately you never get a chance to leave your seat to utilize any of the great accommodations offered. The parking is horrible and the office is freezing or baking hot there is no happy medium. At times you are so busy it is a challenge to leave your seat to use the restroom. The other big con is that the management has changed and now so are many other things such as commission schedule and bonuses and some consultants territories are constantly changing and there is no chance to build and keep good rapor with your customers to build a good business. Also the systems concerning what division things are going to be placed in have changed which affects commissions dramatically.

    Advice to Management

    Consistency would be a great asset, also if commissions are affected so dramatically and territories are always changing which make goals unrealistic then base pay should be raised.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Education Group Proofreading"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Proofreader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Proofreader in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Scholastic (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours
    Friendly coworkers
    Lots of down time

    Cons

    Contradictory instruction
    Little guidance
    Unreasonable expectations
    No support
    Demeaning treatment

    Advice to Management

    Be a resource for proofreaders and provide them with clear instruction, guides, and checklists to complete each task assigned. Understand that because part-time contractors may have other clients and processes that they work with, written instruction and resources are invaluable to completing tasks that match management's expectations.

    Don't argue with or belittle employees. Support the team by treating them with respect and managing the editorial department's use of proofreaders for higher level tasks. Or redefine the proofing department's purpose as a resource for editorial, being sure to adjust the contract workers' compensation.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Scholastic full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Mission is helping kids read. Most working there are good people, strong heritage. Everyone knows the company and feels good about what they do.

    Cons

    Behind the times, long-term execs are "comfortable" with the status quo. Not willing to invest to stay relevant. Separate divisions do not work together and in many ways compete with each other. Very lean at the mid management level and below making most jobs extremely stressful. You can never finish your work so you take it home with you.

    Advice to Management

    Modernize or you will be disrupted and not be able to attract abs retain good people


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Inside Sales Rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Saint Charles, IL
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Saint Charles, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Insurance and benefits provided are adequate, 401K could be better. Hourly pay is adequate for some, fantastic for others. Some managers/supervisors are fantastic to work with. There ARE some good managers here but they don't stay long. Usually they're off to better places after a couple of years. Plenty of parking and clean office space. Most low-level employees have a real passion for getting quality materials into the hands of children. Many are retired/former educators. If you can handle constant chaos, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Managers do not allow employees to converse with one another - ever. Pay is based more on what division is the current favorite of the corporate office. Constant, unorganized, change is rampant. Management does not communicate changes/expectations to employees in a timely manner. Poor follow-up on training leads to confusion and misunderstanding. Divisions often sell the same products and are in competition with one another, yet management will tell you it doesn't cause problems in generating sales for your division. Commission structure makes it nearly impossible to reach your goals. Frequent negative "you're not doing enough" emails come from management. Questions or issues surrounding changes in procedures are dismissed or not addressed in a timely manner. Upper management puts excessive amounts of work on the middle and lower level managers, who in turn put the blame for all the company short-comings on the shoulders of the employees at the bottom of the food chain. Work area is small (cubicles) and computers are slow and out of date.

    Advice to Management

    Give your employees credit for their intelligence. Talking down to them does not ear their respect. When the employees come to you time and again with the same complaint, address it. Ignoring problems does NOT make them go away.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Not Good."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Scholastic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Great Mission - getting books in the hands of kids is noble (profitable, but noble).
    -Smart co-workers - you'll work with a lot of intelligent folks who know and love what they do.
    -If you're lucky enough to work with authors, this can be one of the most rewarding professional experiences of your career. I know it was for me.
    -Location - right in the heart of Soho. I didn't like the neighborhood, but many people do.
    -Occasional perks like free books or movie screenings. It's actually harder to get the books you want than you might think.
    -Company has been around a LONG time and has a great reputation in schools. Their book fairs are things of legend and will always be the first thing people mention when you say that you work there.

    Cons

    -Company is very siloed; inter-departmental rivalries are not just common, they are the rule rather than the exception. It's hard to get things done here unless you really reach across the aisle and make friends. Issues can go unresolved for years because of this.
    -Very poor management - managers are all too often concerned with their own advancement and agenda rather than nurturing and retaining talent. There is no oversight of poor managers and how they treat their employees and as a result, Scholastic has a major case of brain drain, where talented employees are running, not walking, to better roles elsewhere.
    -Little to no opportunities for advancement or promotion.
    -Favoritism/cronyism is rampant here. If you're lucky enough to get a boss who likes and supports you, bully! If not, you're boned.
    -Scholastic is loaded with "lifers," who have had just the one job there for their entire career, and "boomerangs," who perpetually leave and come back because they are ill-equipped to survive anywhere else. This leaves them blind to the evolving workplace and stuck in ruts that they cannot climb out of.
    -Layoffs are common and happen with no notice - they literally liquidated an entire division in a month.
    -The company is very cliquish - this happens in multiple departments and is more common with certain job types than others.
    -The benefits keep getting more expensive for employees as Scholastic covers less every year.
    -Comparatively, Scholastic pays around 30% less than what you should be actually earning in the real world. Know your value and negotiate if you can.
    -The building is nice (they even have a youtube tour of it) but they are embarking on a two year renovation of the entire building which is turning everyone's work life upside-down. Scholastic is moving to an open office plan - if you've worked in one, you know that they are a disaster and make it very difficult to actually get work done without the aid of headphones. 95% of people who had offices will not have one after the construction is done. Some employees are being moved to an off-site building while others are being asked to stay and work in the building while it's under construction. The update is overdue but will be a huge distraction to the mostly hard-working rank and file.

    Advice to Management

    -To the management where I worked - leave. You'll do the company and your employees a favor. Word of advice: yawning constantly while your employees are talking to you is not considered acceptable or polite in any office culture. It shows that you are utterly disinterested with what we're saying.
    -To management in general - listen when your employees talk and actually make an effort to look past your collective egos. Don't pay lip service to "managing" by ceremoniously reading important looking management books and making sure everyone sees you reading them - actually do it. Managers support and develop their talent, not hold them back because they're jealous or afraid of being made obsolete or redundant. Managers take time to sit with their employees, ask what's on their minds, and understand where they've been, where they'd like to be, and what they're interested in. Otherwise, you are a pale imitation of a leader, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


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