Success Academy Charter Schools Employee Reviews about "high turnover"

Updated Nov 10, 2020

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2.8
35%
Recommend to a Friend
25%
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Success Academy Charter Schools Founder, CEO Eva Moskowitz  (no image)
Eva Moskowitz
635 Ratings
Pros
  • "The professional development you find at success is truly hard to come by(in 83 reviews)

  • "High accountability for both scholars and teachers, which helps both of us grow(in 64 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Poor work/life balance that can result in easy burn-out if not cautious(in 173 reviews)

  • "It requires a lot of work and long hours(in 130 reviews)

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    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "high turnover"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Love working here

      May 9, 2017 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great coworkers, fun happy hours

      Cons

      Lots to manage, high turnover

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      STAY AWAY

      Aug 20, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The salary is decent enough.

      Cons

      Leadership/the Network do NOT care about school staffs' well being AT ALL. There is an extremely high turnover rate and this is due to several reasons: they hire inexperienced (as in WITHOUT teaching degrees) and train them for 2 weeks and expect them to know how to manage a classroom (the school I happened to work at had nearly 40 KIDS IN A CLASS), so imagine knowing nothing about teaching and being responsible for that many students after 2 weeks of 'training'. In addition to the large class sizes and lack of experienced teachers, you are expected to work around the clock, work/life balance at success is NOT a thing so don't let leadership try and gaslight you saying you 'are not expected' to work beyond 5PM because trust me, you will. This results in people understandably becoming overwhelmed and quitting. Also SA considers having 2 teachers in a classroom enough to provide an adequate environment for students with special needs. Meanwhile both teachers don't even have teaching degrees, let alone special ed certification. how is that legal????? Another reason for the high turnover rate is that staff who quit are not replaced fast enough, if at all. So, the people left to do what is the equivalent of 2-3 peoples' job become burnt out and end up quitting themselves. My time at Success was nothing short of awful, and I highly highly recommend you stay as far as you can from this place, no matter how much you are in need of a job.

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      11 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      I’m sorry you had a negative experience. There are no two ways about it: Teaching is a demanding career. We are very aware that work-life balance can be hard for educators. This is true in every school setting and is particularly true in the first year. We stress that diligent organization and planning, making full use of non-teaching periods each day, and coordinating with grade-level teams to share responsibilities, are all critical to maintaining reasonable hours. We certainly hire teachers with education degrees when they meet our other hiring requirements, but in New York and elsewhere in the country there is a severe teacher shortage in math, science, and special education, which is why we provide our teachers with a free masters in special education. Our special education students do very well, achieving higher proficiency levels in math and reading than general education students in NYC. Leading a classroom is a big role and we have designed a very robust training and development program and structure to support new teachers. They receive four weeks of training before school starts, and throughout the year participate in weekly half days and regular full days of professional development — as well as receiving daily coaching, feedback, and planning support. We take staff retention extremely seriously and have made a number of changes in the past year to ensure teachers can thrive in our schools, including more individualized and targeted support from instructional leaders and mentors. Thanks for your time with us and good luck in your next chapter!

    3. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Terrible culture, executives are pretentious and staff are treated as dispoable

      Oct 11, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The mission, the success of the mission, I've met a lot of great, talented people

      Cons

      The company is essentially run by 3-4 people. All upper management is micromanaged and that creates a downstream effect, resulting in a fear culture throughout. Tons of negativity, little positive reinforcement, lack of resources, high turnover, low pay for long hours of work.

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      7 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thank you for your feedback, and I am so sorry to hear about your experience thus far. Despite this, you seem to believe that the mission is strong and positive and that the people are great. We take staff retention extremely seriously and have made significant progress in this area over the past two years. As an organization, we are committed to continuous improvement and we very much value the insights and voices of our employees. Last year, we implemented a formal system that allows every one of our staff members to make suggestions and point out problems that they believe deserve our focused attention. We encourage you to work with your manager to clearly identify and name any problems you perceive in how your department is operating and submit it as a possible area for attention and improvement.

    4. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Once you get past the Honeymoon phase..

      Jan 23, 2020 - Associate in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -The Mission -Helping a cause -Benefits package (Health, Dental, Vision)

      Cons

      -Poor Leadership -Scrambling for deadlines -Poor Data Management (no one knows where to find things) -High Turnover -Low pay -Low employee morale

      Continue reading
      11 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thank you for all you are doing for kids and families and sorry you are not having a more positive experience. We take staff turnover seriously and when staff members leave, we work hard to understand and address root causes. Recent feedback from our staff survey has also provided valuable insights and managers across the enterprise are engaged in efforts to ensure that staff members understand how their work contributes to our broader mission and have meaningful opportunities for career growth and development. As you know, over the past year we have been engaging in an intensive process of self-examination and problem-solving, making improvements that will allow us to run our central office and our schools as effectively and efficiently as possible. In some cases, teams have been restructured and there are staff departures related to those changes. Regarding your development, I do hope you will use your performance check-in and review meetings to let your supervisor know where you see yourself professionally in two, three, and even five years. This will enable your manager to support your growth in relevant skills and knowledge and direct you toward responsibilities that will allow you to advance toward your goals. Thanks again for your work and commitment!

    5. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Do not recommend

      Jul 22, 2020 - Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      + The kids + Many coworkers are dedicated, hard-working people + High salary for NYC teachers who are starting out + I had no experience/education to be a teacher before - I learned a lot during my time there even if I had to unlearn it later on

      Cons

      - Success makes you think their way is best. It took me years to see it for what it is. Now I work in a public school in NYC and I have the flexibility to run my classroom the way I want. Students still have behavior issues because they're kids but not the way they did at Success. We teach a SEL curriculum and use restorative practices. And expectations for teachers and students are still high. - Success uses Teach Like a Champion to teach new teachers classroom management (some without a background in education); these practices are carceral and typically make behaviors worse by harming your relationship with your students - Competitive environment with regards to testing data puts undue pressure on kids to perform on exams and creates anxiety for children and adults - Differentiation is not encouraged; the expectation is to teach the curriculum in a specific way, with very little freedom to make choices for based on students the in front of you - Leaders sometimes have little experience as teachers - High turnover leads to unqualified teachers in special education classrooms; I was an associate teacher my first year (and was paid as an AT) but co-taught in an ICT classroom. During my final year, my co-teacher had never taught before and was placed in an ICT classroom. A first-year teacher with no education/experience in the field of education cannot be an equal part of a co-teaching partnership. - Work-life balance is terrible and ultimately all areas of my life suffered; there is a culture of making you seem like you're not committed to the students if you're not spending every waking moment at or thinking about your job

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      12 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thanks for your comments. It’s not clear when you worked here -- it sounds like it was many years ago. Our core values for student learning are creative and critical thinking, and we value and encourage curiosity, autonomy, and excellence. We are in a continual state of improvement and each year make very significant adjustments to our instructional model, training, and curriculum to bring these values more effectively to life in our classrooms. While there are some basic teaching tools from Teach Like a Champion that our teachers use, we draw from many other sources, including numerous books on progressive pedagogy — our goal is to implement outstanding progressive, child-centered teaching and learning at scale across our classrooms and schools. Thanks for the time you spent with us and it’s great to hear the skills you learned here gave you a strong foundation for success in your current school.

    6. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Not for the idealistic ...

      Nov 10, 2020 - Lead Teacher, English in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Lots of PD, some of which is vaguely useful

      Cons

      Treated as labor, racially insensitive practices, ungodly high turnover rate

      4 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      We are sorry you did not have a better experience with us. We believe deeply that diversity — of background, identity, experience, and ideas — is vital to effectively serve our communities and carry out our mission. We encourage employees to speak to their managers or to the Human Capital team if they encounter discriminatory language or behavior. While there is zero tolerance of racism at SA, we know there is more work to do to raise awareness of bias and we have launched a number of initiatives to ensure our schools and network office are inclusive and equitable. Thank you for your contribution and wish you the best of luck.

    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Toxic culture...Stay far far away

      Oct 25, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      One would think the mission but the culture here is so toxic

      Cons

      Where do I begin. First they hire incompetent people (who clearly shouldn’t be there) for senior roles,.. and these people never get into trouble or get fired for even the most egregious of mistakes. So imagine working for someone like that and getting blamed for their mistakes. And the workload is insane with no room for errors. As a result the top heavy incompetence really drives out talented and hard working lower level employees. And they wonder why they have such high turnover..... It’s an unstable environment with heavy budget cuts across schools and layoffs not too long ago at the network office. The culture here is so toxic and divisive that employees are trying not to get in trouble for small infractions. People are forced to tread very carefully around management so as not to get into trouble over the smallest things. People literally quit all the time. And yes ... don’t trust the reviews here. They were artificially inflated by blunt forced brigading of untrue high star reviews by employees, who were asked to do it by their managers and upper management Stay away. You may be drawn to their mission but the consequences of working here will take a severe toll on your mental and emotional well being

      14 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thanks for your feedback and very sorry you were not happy with your experience at Success Academy. As an organization, we prioritize fostering a safe and positive professional environment and our schools are incredibly joyful places — filled with celebrations, dress-up days, and lots of laughter. It is a terrible thing to feel unhappy in your workplace and we strongly encourage employees who have issues or concerns to raise them with their manager! We have high standards for hiring and promoting our educators, and it’s hard to square your charge of “incompetence” with the great achievements of our scholars, who learn, grow, and develop into extraordinary readers, mathematicians, dancers, chess players, problem-solvers, athletes — the list goes on and on — with the love and support of our educators. This doesn’t mean that managers and school leaders do not make mistakes. We are a large network of schools and we are always striving for excellence, but strive is the key word. Far from having “no room for errors,” all of us make mistakes every day. Our central value is a willingness to learn because educating kids at very high levels is not easy and there will always be ample room for improvement! Finally, we do occasionally encourage current employees to share their perspective about Success Academy on Glassdoor — we want prospective employees to receive a comprehensive understanding of what it is like working here and reviews tend to skew toward former employees — but we have absolutely no control over what anyone writes and all reviews are both anonymous and, as far as we are aware, authentic!

    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      unSUCCESSful culture

      Feb 21, 2020 - Operations 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Shows me what I would never want from a job

      Cons

      Let me give you a quick overview of the culture here : Problem: Low Glassdoor ratings and poor reviews Solution: CEO on several occasions tells employees to artificially boost ratings by adding high star reviews Problem: High turnover, poor engagement surveys and low employee morale Solution: let’s waste time having meeting after pointless meeting but in the end just say employees who aren’t happy just can’t cut it here Problem: people not held accountable for their actions Solution: nothing really lol. Just pass it off as the “culture”

      Continue reading
      15 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thanks for your feedback and the time you spent with us. We are a culture of feedback and we value what we learn from responses on Glassdoor — as well as in our staff engagement survey — and take action where appropriate. Our staff survey in fact finds that the large majority of employees are committed to SA’s mission and proud to work here, feel respected by their managers, and feel a strong sense of community and belonging. As recommended as a best practice by Glassdoor, we occasionally encourage reviews from active employees to help Glassdoor readers gain visibility into the full SA experience rather than from just a handful of former employees. We are deeply committed to continual improvement and while we are not perfect — no organization is! — Thanks for the time you spent with us and good luck in your next endeavor!

    9. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Network office is a horror show!

      Jan 31, 2020 - Curriculum Developer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      No pros to speak of.

      Cons

      The toxic and poisonous atmosphere at the Network is crippling. Much like other posts mention, the inept and mediocre members of upper management somehow manage to survive riding on the coattails of their more-intelligent and more-capable subordinates. The subordinates/junior employees are the real unsung heroes of this place. There are senior management members who have failed miserably or couldn’t cut it at their old roles. They use this place as their hideout - where ignorance prevails for the masses - and they are easily able to disguise their incompetence without being reprimanded because no one knows any better. This place attracts the worst-of-the-worst human beings. Sometimes you question how some of them are even employable. I would go to meetings where senior management would spew out wrong info because they didn't know basic facts about the company. Whenever you try to present the actual, correct information you are admonished and blacklisted for even thinking of questioning authority. They keep having employment engagement surveys and promising change ... but it’s nonsense! Management's huge egos block their ability to use common sense, civility and sensibility. I strongly advise you to look elsewhere. Save yourself the emotional toll of this place. This is one of the worst career choices I ever made. No wonder they have insanely high turnover. The same people you started with at the beginning of the year are more than likely to be gone by the end of it. Filter these reviews by lowest to highest. The low star reviews are the most trustworthy and honest and they will give you the best picture of what this place is really like. The CEO is obsessed with Glassdoor and stops at nothing to boost the ratings. A LOT of the 4-star and 5 star reviews are NOT TRUE and are a result of coercion. If you notice the reviews in the last few days they are all back to "4" or "5" stars ... The CEO's performance is measured against the Glassdoor reviews, so wouldn't be at all surprised if the shady practice of coerced pummeling of reviews has started back up!

      Continue reading
      15 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      I’m sorry Success Academy was not a better fit for you and that you did not enjoy your colleagues. It is unclear where you are getting your information about senior managers at SA as members of our senior staff come from a wide array of industries and, without exception, have impressive records of accomplishment. As an organization, we are deeply invested in continual improvement. We are far from perfect — no organization is — and are always seeking ways to improve the education we deliver for our kids and families and to enhance the experience of our employees. Regarding Glassdoor reviews, we occasionally encourage employees to post reviews, a practice that is recommended by Glassdoor. As you know, the reviews are completely anonymous and we have no control over what staff members write. Thanks for your time here good luck in your next endeavor.

    10. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Unorganized, stressful, tough to grow in or maintain positivity, extremely high turnover

      Jan 30, 2019 - Community Relations Coordinator in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great benefits, good time-off schedule, PTO for operations staff is generous, lots of "perks"

      Cons

      Nonexistent of work/life balance, feeling of not being heard by local and network management, constant unrealistic and tone deaf demands trickle down from above, excessive adherence and devotion to hierarchical structure of organization, organization refuses to acknowledge high turnover issue and scapegoats its young employees (stating that they have a tendency to leave jobs frequently), constant scrutiny and evaluations that don't actually lead to concrete growth or improvement, and harsh feedback that is not delivered constructively under the guise of "radical candor." Incredibly difficult place to work for people in operations and in teaching.

      Continue reading
      16 people found this review helpful

      Success Academy Charter Schools Response

      Founder & CEO

      Thanks for your feedback and very sorry you did not have a more positive experience. Building great schools is incredibly demanding. The reality is that any meaningful career at a high-performing organization will sometimes ask for more than a 40-hour work week. This is true in journalism, finance, law, and tech companies — and it is true at SA, where our talented staff members are successfully closing an opportunity gap that has plagued our nation for generations. The difference is that when you work at a Success Academy school you get to participate in the fun that goes into creating joyful school communities — recess snowball fights, dance parties, performances and art exhibits, schoolwide celebrations — and you get more time off! We strive to create a culture at SA where everyone is rowing in the same direction — and we are sorry to hear that you felt unheard and received directives that did not make sense. The goal of the network office is to support the staff in our schools and make their lives easier through more efficient systems and structures, but we recognize that we sometimes fall short of this ideal and are always working to improve. We strongly encourage new staff members to speak to their managers and veteran members of their school team if they are struggling in any way or need clarity on the “why” behind a project or deliverable. Feedback is designed to support your growth — it should not feel like a personal attack and should always include concrete next steps for improvement. Employees should speak with their managers or directly to the Human Capital team if they feel they are not receiving clarity about what they can do to grow in their position. We are always striving to improve the experience of our staff and we take turnover very seriously. Employee retention is a top priority for the organization and based on a diagnosis of the drivers/causes, we are taking a multitude of actions to address and improve. Thank you for the time you spent with us and good luck in your next endeavor.

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