Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews

Updated December 6, 2018
478 reviews

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2.7
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Eva Moskowitz
289 Ratings

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Pros
  • "Very rewarding work with a lot of professional development" (in 53 reviews)

  • "Great benefits and great environment" (in 22 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Extremely rewarding if you are willing to work hard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The school community is an incredible work environment. I have made lifelong friends through this organization and I can't imagine my life without them. The kids are also a source of daily joy, and kids do truly love coming to school.

    - The organization itself is completely changing the landscape of education in NYC. I have rarely seen an organization that lives up to its mission to the extent that SA does. The work is highly meaningful. You see the outcomes of your work on a daily basis.

    - The work is dynamic and there is room for your own personality to come through. No two teachers are quite the same, and that is something that is celebrated.

    Cons

    - The hours are long. You have to know how to take care of yourself and manage your time effectively to be successful here.

    - You have to take initiative if you want to implement a program or idea that is not built into the curriculum.

    Advice to Management

    - Provide more effective avenues for feedback to leadership and more structured training for new hires


  2. "Summer Intern"

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

    Pros

    Great people and work environment

    Cons

    Anti-union, run as a business rather than a nonprofit

  3. "Good place"

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

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great community of people

    Cons

    High Turnover rate in the schools and headquarters


  4. "Great job for those passionate about education!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Training Coordinator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Training Coordinator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Good people. It is a job that revolves around its mission to help children!

    Cons

    It feels like whenever something is escalated or sent to HR, it is never handled.

    Advice to Management

    Make the promotion process more transparent.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Teacher Mulching Factory"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Elementary Teacher
    Current Employee - Elementary Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits and good pay, especially if you're just coming out of college

    There's lots of opportunity for promotion and professional development, and Success does good things for a lot of the kids that attend depending on the school you're in.

    I believe fully and wholeheartedly that Eva Moskowitz is sincere about her determination to help children, and I believe most of the leadership in SA is sincere in their drive as well. That said, I take issue with the way SA does things.

    Cons

    In my school, we've had about 30 people leave since August. There is no consistency in our schedule. The pressure is high, there are no lunch breaks, leadership is often inexperienced because young teachers will rise in the ranks so fast, and teachers will consistently work about 10 to 11 hour days without a break. (If you're lucky enough to be in a testing grade, Success reserves the right to call you in to work on Saturday, too.) Note that this is when they're trying to respond to complaints about work-life balance.

    The misery is thick among the staff. Within my first two weeks, I walked in on three separate colleagues crying at separate times. I have only seen more since then. I have never seen half of the teachers smile, including the kindergarten teachers. Management flounders at morale and publicly pick on obviously miserable teachers about having sloppy transitions on the first day of the fourth schedule change of the month. When a teacher I knew to have a newborn at home tried to communicate that she had too many projects at once and that she needed more reasonable deadlines, she was told to just come in early (earlier than 6:45 am) and stay late to meet her deadlines and was treated like a lazy worker for not doing that in the first place. There is an ongoing feeling among all of us that we are not seen as people, but as workhorses, and any life we might have outside of SA holds no value.

    Success is the kind of environment where you will thrive if you love teaching and have an A-type personality ready to live and breathe your work (and live off it for sustenance because you have no lunch breaks). For everyone else, it grinds them down psychologically and leaves them battered and broken.

    Advice to Management

    Teachers can't take care of students if they don't take care of themselves first. It's like an airplane oxygen mask. If a teacher tries to take care of their kids at the expense of themselves for too long, they'll burn out and leave the profession, and that's what's happening at Success.

    Teachers need reasonable working hours, a work-life balance, and some time to themselves throughout the day. Giving us money and nice insurance won't solve your retention problems if you still treat us like mulch. After factoring in my therapy bills, I think I made more as a bartender.

    More to the point, this hurts the kids too. They notice how miserable the adults in their lives are, and miserable adults are less patient and kind adults, to say nothing of the fact that the authority figures in these children's lives are constantly cycling in and out. The kids may have amazing test scores, but I think a lot of them are being psychologically and emotionally affected by being in this environment, especially in their formative years. Setting a child up for success means setting them up emotionally as well as academically, and sacrificing the emotional well-being of teachers to the point where they can't support their students is setting a lot of them up for failure. I've seen multiple children lag academically or emotionally because teachers they had special connections with left suddenly, and they lost trust in adults and made it much harder for other teachers to connect with them on the same level.

    SA is obsessed with becoming better and better with every year, and I feel like teacher and staff morale is a frontier that they really should focus on going forward. Sacrifices have to be made to give teachers a proper work-life balance, but I think it's an investment that will ultimately pay off in not only retention, but in the emotional and developmental well-being of our kids.


  6. "Lead Teacher"

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

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    A lot of Feedback

    Cons

    So much joy?
    There isnt really any cons
    You just have to work hard and love the art of teaching kids


  7. "Toxic Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Teacher in Bronx, NY
    Former Employee - Associate Teacher in Bronx, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good pay, good management / leadership depending on the specific school.

    Cons

    long hours, no lunch break, they do not care about the children as much as they do producing top scores. Often play the blame game instead of fixing the process / issue.

    Advice to Management

    You are doing too much, applying to weight onto your teachers, we are treated like pack mules that consistently are carrying to much weight. Our backs will eventually give out.

    Success Academy Charter Schools Response

    Nov 19, 2018 – Founder & CEO

    Teachers in every kind of school setting — district and charter — often work long hours, particularly in the first year, when learning new skills. However, at Success Academy we have a number of... More

  8. "Great experience as an Associate Teacher/Lead Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Teacher
    Current Employee - Associate Teacher
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The development and feedback provided to teachers allows for rapid growth if one is open to constructive feedback. A high bar is set to ensure both students and staff have the opportunity to grow and the access to the best curriculum and resources.

    It is powerful being in a community where scholars come first and all adults work toward the same goal of developing scholars to be well rounded people. Being in a community that believes in a true love for learning is incredibly rewarding. Strong connections are built with other staff members through hard work!

    Cons

    Things move at a fast pace, a staff member at SA must be able to be flexible and open to being given feedback.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "DO NOT work there."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    - Teacher snacks, they pay for lots of stuff. good salary and benefits (but overworked)

    Cons

    - LONG hours and with NO break. (they claim you have one but you don't)
    - They are not respectful of teachers and NOT respectful of kids. They have insane expectations of the kids and it's very mundane worksheets and make kids feel bad for not getting things right.
    - They bribe kids with gifts and there is not enough free time or learning through play at all.
    - They pretend to care about your best interest but honestly don't and play favorites.
    -- All they care about is if you can behavior manage according to their "script". I wish I had read Glassdoor before working there because I cried for months and months and my friends who are still there are MISERABLE. If you want no life and constant stress and anxiety 24/7- then by all means work there. There are MUCH better schools that care about children and their staff. DO NOT WORK THERE!

    Advice to Management

    - Listen to the teachers and listen to the students.
    - Provide more learning through play and free time for children to explore. Less worksheets and actually listen to these children.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Associate Teacher"

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

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    The Network is very bureaucratic, and the office politics are strong—both within the network and each individual school. Network employees and labsite teachers come across as snarky during training, and it felt more like a popularity contest than a professional work environment. I felt like I was back in junior high. When I arrived at my school, the female teachers acted more like girls in a sorority than colleagues in a professional environment. It is, without a doubt, the most unprofessional environment I have ever worked in. The environment is very cult-like, which is definitely something to be aware of going in. Leaders micromanage staff members, and it’s “their way or the highway.” I came home crying multiple nights a week, but I kept telling myself that once I made it through training and started at my individual school, everything would be fine, but nothing changed. During training, you are in anywhere between four to six sessions a day and have pre- and post-work for all of those courses. If you aren’t days ahead, you’re behind, and I was required to complete hours of work each night and on the weekends. They do this to weed people out early. We were told to "manage up" and to not "suffer in silence," but at the end of the day, you need to be aware that your principal and AP are going to save their jobs before your job. You're disposable, and there's no way to manage up, because the work environment is what it is. I was afraid to manage up because I was afraid of losing my job because of it. Network training doesn't prepare new teachers to Success, even the experienced ones, whatsoever to teach in these classrooms. Although I was hired as an associate teacher, I was placed in an integrated co-teaching classroom with a co-teacher with 35 students. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and has 20 students with an assistant. She almost dropped the phone when I told her how many students I had. I've never quit anything in my life—not a sport, not an internship, and certainly not a job—and I don't quit something because it's challenging, but this went way beyond that. The work environment is toxic, and you either sink or swim.

    Cons

    If you can manage to work at Success for a year or more, anyone will hire you. It's been nicknamed the "Goldman Sachs of education" for a reason--it's like you're on the trading floor of Goldman, except you're teaching in Harlem. The pay and benefits aren't terrible; however, when you compare the pay to how many hours employees work, it probably comes down to less than minimum wage. They like to keep people internal, so if you survive there, you'll move up quickly, but if you do decide to leave, it's the golden ticket on your resume, because everyone knows how toxic of an environment it is.

    Success Academy Charter Schools Response

    Nov 2, 2018 – HR Director

    Thank you for your comments, and we’re sorry your experience at Success Academy was not more positive. As an organization, we prioritize fostering a positive professional environment for all staff... More