Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews

Updated July 15, 2018
425 reviews

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Eva Moskowitz
256 Ratings

425 Employee Reviews

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

  • "Great benefits and supportive leader" (in 22 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (9)

    "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. "Amazing experience"

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

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

    Pros

    Very well structured. Curriculum is given to you

    Cons

    Teachers come and go. Very long hours

    Advice to Management

    Co-teaching is not the way to go and shorten the school hours

  3. Helpful (1)

    "WARNING: you’re giving up your whole life to teach"

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

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

    Pros

    Salary, benefits, snacks, kids, technology

    Cons

    Cut-throat environment, work/life balance, micromanagement

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging. let teachers teach, learn, and bring their personality


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Ask around, this brand and culture is toxic! Stay away!"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are a lot of really hard working folks that really care about kids.

    Cons

    Air is not good in this organization in general people are not happy! Toxic work culture, toxic leadership. people are leaving or looking to leave. Place is not sustainable or scalable with 30%+ attrition throughout. C-level and above are disconnected don't take or want feedback.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on retaining and developing people and consider treating them with dignity or your dream of 100 schools will never be realized! You can only run through 100's of new teachers a year before your brand becomes known for it's true caustic nature!


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Negative Work Encvironment"

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

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

    Pros

    Great snacks in the TWR
    Air-Conditioned Work Environment
    High than average teacher compensation

    Cons

    Incredibly high teacher turnover
    Unrealistic expectations of teachers attire and deliverable times
    No creativity or collaboration in lesson plans or departments
    No clear path for career opportunities
    Favoritism
    No clear manager to report to due to mid-year turnover rates

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees and scholars
    Start by thinking about scholars holistic experience


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Resources for ALL but People Place - Nope"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    A plethora of resource for individuals - schools are drowning in supplies, staff have access to education, school cultures really determine your happiness - high pay!

    Cons

    - Growth and opportunity for internal moves in or out of the classroom are dependent on who you know. The network is full of young, unprofessional cliques that are disconnected from the schools and swoop in if people are failing. No matter how many times you say "hello" they don't care to know you.
    - That then trickles down to the leaders who start empathetic and then turn into "Success" because of the demands of the network.
    - They will lie and make false promises to ensure teachers stick it out through testing and then ask them to not come back or ensure they can't get hired at other schools.

    Advice to Management

    What is the point?


  7. "Operations Coordinator"

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

    Pros

    Pay is pretty decent for people starting their first job

    Cons

    Top down management Style

    Success cares about data and test scores more than anything else

    If you fall behind you will likely be fired.

    Advice to Management

    Support and invest in your employees

  8. "Lead Math 6th Grade Teacher"

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive compensation, good benefits, friendly and supportive peer-environment, and strong focus on individual development.

    Cons

    Growth in organization on the administrative level. Work/Life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Allow for more transparency and communication between teacher-leadership.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "On Fire in the Bad Way"

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

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

    Pros

    I do believe that this is a better alternative for kids than a lot of traditional failing urban public schools and I do believe that kids get a better experience from SA than teachers do. You will learn a ton of solid practices regarding classroom management and student engagement.

    Cons

    Everything else. Consistently negative and combative work environment, everyone on edge and spread 10x too thin, but then treated as though they're crazy when they express feelings of overwork and burnout. The mentality espoused by network and school admin is you can just believe yourself out of being belittled, harassed and exhausted. It's a you problem. It adds insult to the injury of the already incredibly poor working conditions.

    Curriculum includes at least two lessons worth of material per class and expectation across the board are similarly unattainable, which won't stop the constant cracking of the whip all the way up the chain to work harder and faster at goals that are ridiculously out of reach. I believe in working hard, I believe in setting difficult goals for yourself, but if you set goals that far out of the realm of possibility, people become discouraged and you have the opposite effect on morale and productivity.

    Pay is fine until your realize that most teachers work 11 hour days minimum. Classrooms are overcrowded, teachers are inexperienced. I literally saw half a dozen people who had never taught and had no education in teaching thrown into lead teaching roles days to weeks into starting in order to deal with vacancies left by qualified, disgruntled employees who couldn't take it any more. Parents would be horrified if they knew this. The Associate Teacher program is a joke and a thinly veiled way to keep up with the relentless churn and burn of teachers.

    Student learning suffers accordingly, and under double the pressure of a regular, qualified lead teacher, potentially successful future teachers burn out and quit before they've even been properly trained.

    Test prep is the focus for most of the year and students and teachers are equally miserable during this entire season. Do the kids really learn math and reading? Yes. And that's important. Do they learn social skills or how to value anything apart from grades (like, for instance, how to treat one another with respect)? No. They watch their end-of-their-ropes teachers bicker, snark and snap at one another and students and they learn that test scores are more important than anything else, humanity included.

    Whenever I mention that I worked there or meet someone else who worked there, people literally gasp in horror just at the name. I have been told in job interviews "If you survived at SA, you'll be fine here." Direct quote. Survived. Run don't walk away from this monster of a network.

    Advice to Management

    Don't use ATs to fill lead teaching positions when they are not ready. Keep class sizes under 30. Set challenging but REALISTIC expectations for kids and teachers. Listen to your teachers, leave Wall Street and ask them what they want and need. Treat them like humans. If you do those things, you will retain excellent teachers and your kids will benefit from their expertise and long term relationships. If you don't you will continue to build on a foundation of quicksand.

    Stop expanding exponentially on something that is so broken as is.


  10. "Former IT Intern, very satisfied"

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

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

    Pros

    Working with a small team, build connections, friendly work environment, easy to travel to

    Cons

    pretty cramped, sometimes hard to move around the office

    Advice to Management

    keep up the good work


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