Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews

Updated October 19, 2018
468 reviews

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2.7
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Eva Moskowitz
279 Ratings

468 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Very rewarding work with a lot of professional development" (in 52 reviews)

  • "Great place to start your teaching career, amazing families, decent pay and benefits" (in 11 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (23)

    "For smart people who are driven to change the status quo"

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

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    *smart, creative, hard-working, funny co-workers
    *resources & training you need to get the job done
    *great learning environment -- if there's a better way, try it, do it!
    *failure is ok -- but you are expect to learn from it
    *the kids are awesome

    Cons

    *not for the shy, timid, slow-footed or lazy
    *your work can be all-consuming, in a good way, but YOU have to make time for your personal life -- and it can be done! (hint: exercise!)
    *your days can be crazy and unpredictable & that's good & bad

    Advice to Management

    Would be great to have more visibility into future growth plans...100 schools!?


  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 to start for recent graduates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Working at Success allows you to acquire tons of great office experience and skills that will do a great job bolstering your resume. From my experience, teachers and staff are great people and a pleasure to work with, though I heard that this may vary depending on the school location.

    Decent pay and benefits for work in education. Payed school breaks.

    Cons

    1- Negative school culture

    Working at Success may be challenging because of long work hours, but this become particularly difficult when, day-in-day-out, you see how the schools micro-manage students, staff, and parents. From grade 1, students are expected to wake up early and take an uncanny amount of exams throughout the year that prepare them for the state tests. Students in grade 1 are taught to ace grade 2 state exam materials and so on and so forth so that when the real exam comes, they are extra prepared. The problem with this model is that students who dont perform well academically are pushed out of the school system, which leads to questionnable interpretation of the school’s model that Success boasts is responsible for such high test scores. Students are basically not allowed to move at their desks, and get suspended for the most absurd reasons. Witnessing this on a daily basis takes a lot of the joy out of the job.

    2- Disorganized network office

    Every success school and the network office are plagued by high turnover rates because staff is often overloaded with work, and the network office is not capable of holding itself accountable for its mistakes/last-minute deliverables.

    3- Poor work-life balance

    You will likely find yourself waking up early in the morning for a 6:45-7:00am start and finishing around 5:30-6:00pm. The most annying times are during exams, when the network office gives its accountability guide and education managers and teachers are responsible for grading according to this guid which is very often unclear. The result is that exams, which take hours to score in the first place, need to be rescored again if the network deems it necessary. Managers are also expected to work at home to complete insane amounts of deliverables.

    Over a long period of time, working at Sucess becomes really, really draining.

    4- Not a revolutionary school model

    Success is very pompous about itself. Students are called “scholars”, CEO Eva Moskowitz enjoys making public appearances to make political statements and brag about her school’s results. Yet very sketchy things seem to be happening in the higher ups (just search success on Google). So many kids are recommended for Special Education, and ed managers and coordinators are expected to meet certain quotas so Success can benefit from more government funding. This also means being forced to advocate for kids who obviously dont require any special supports.

    Advice to Management

    Think quality over quantity. Success is trying to expand to 100 schools and by the looks of their new information system, things are not looking up for staff. Some schools are “sinking ships”.


  4. "Accounts Payable Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Environment, good people to work with

    Cons

    High Turnover rate alot of people were leaving .


  5. "SA Network Ops"

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

    Pros

    Get experience doing lots of things

    Cons

    Inconsistent policies, management
    Treated as replaceable unless you're a favorite


  6. "Associate Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Teacher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate Teacher in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Sick Time for teachers is great they actually care about children's health.

    Cons

    Not receiving payment for all the work being done. At this particular place it seemed like a popularity contest rather than teaching position. Long hours but that comes with the job.

    Advice to Management

    Be more personable or at least know your staff better. Staff meetings should be used to better one another, and help improve school situations, not a popularity contest, or shade war


  7. Helpful (7)

    "“The Whole School is an Experiment”"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    The kids are great, even the ones who need more attention behavior wise are fun kids who make the job a bit brighter. The teachers and on location faculty really care about the kids. They believe they’re doing right by them and want to see them succeed.
    The benefits are awesome and cheap and the pay is pretty good for what it is.

    Cons

    The expectations of what a brand new teacher can manage is set really high. You’re expected to be in constant contact with the families of not only your homeroom but also of your subject classes. You have to log everything, create lesson plans, manage up to 30 students, grade (with no rubric guidance), keep behavior records, academic records, and more. I work from 7-6 every day with little to no break time. Even your 45 minutes for lunch you have to be planning the next class or grading papers, making phone calls, etc. This all would be better if new teachers were given the guidance and tools to succeed at these tasks; most aren’t.
    The position I accepted was associate Teacher, which is meant to be a secondary teacher in the classroom in order to get your bearings before you move on to leading a classroom. At my school, up until the 3rd month of school, everyone was a content leader in their classroom, some of us completely on our own. For the first two weeks my classroom was almost impossible to get through a lesson because I was unprepared to handle behaviors and break down lessons to an appropriate level.
    Furthermore the kids are really only receiving an education to help them succeed at standardized tests. Grammar lessons were recently introduced by network, because our kids can’t write well. These 10-15 minute lessons are an attempt to fix a gaping hole in the kid’s education with a bandaid. They aren’t taught study skills or challenged past what will get them through state testing.
    Their behavior management technique said will sometimes make you feel like a dictator.
    Finally “the network” is really good at avoiding direct questions and concerns that the teaching staff poses. At a development workshop at the beginning of the year, many concerns were handled like a PR team covering up a scandal; convoluted answers and walking around the question.
    They have a great idea but their experiment won’t work if they keep ignoring the problems.

  8. "Expectations not met"

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

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools part-time

    Pros

    A lot of the work can be slow, which is great if you want a relaxed internship- You can get a return offer from the Teaching Internship. Their office and schools are very well kept, their benefits are great. You can climb the ladder quickly at SA, because many people leave.

    Cons

    Summers are busy for HR due to the high turnover which makes it quite chaotic for interns. The high turnover rate also makes it difficult to know who's working and who isn't, which will make certain internships and full-time positions a lot more challenging. The communications between departments are not too great, and its really hard to work for bosses when they themselves are frustrated by the workings of the organization. It felt cult-like, and I didn't see as much passion for children as I wanted to.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "It's not for everyone, but it's a remarkable place"

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

    I have been working at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Passion for mission, always fed, coworkers are great

    Cons

    Management is horrible, stressful place at times. Employee retention is a huge issue

    Advice to Management

    There are certain managers/directors who all of the coworkers (in one particular department) cannot stand working for. He is a condescending and rude micromanager. A very intelligent person who has absolutely no people skills, and when he is in the office, the stress level goes up 100% for all around. The worse part is that he is that culture comes from the very top. Management needs to respect those they hire and learn how to talk to employees in respectful ways.
    Despite all this, those of us who work here, at least many of us, believe in our mission and care about what we're doing for education. Employee retention is horrible here. It's time Success starts looking into just W.H.Y. it's so bad.


  10. "Associate Teacher"

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

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

    Pros

    kids are great
    co-workers are nice

    Cons

    -10-12 hour days, which makes your salary to minimum wage pay.
    - No actual lunch break.
    -Check the crime stats for your location, bc they often place you in places where your safety is at risk


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