School District of Philadelphia

  www.phila.k12.pa.us
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School District of Philadelphia Reviews

Updated 29 July 2014
Updated 29 July 2014
88 Reviews

2.5
88 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr
William R. Hite Jr
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Opportunities for Professional development (in 6 reviews)

  • good benefits, grate co-workers (teachers) (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • There is very little support from administration, many of whom in any other business would be considered incompetant and racist (in 3 reviews)

  • selling off their responsibility for failing schools to charter schools and for-profit companies (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Not a job but an adventure in Urban education

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30 in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    A chance to really help those that are in desperate need, Summers off,

    Cons

    Extremely difficult job working with under educated students and families. There is little or no family support given to my students. I work in one of the inner city high schools

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to not only educate the students but educate the parents and guardians on how to be supportive of their children. Get through to them that education is the only way for them to get out of their situation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Not a bad place to work

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

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Co- workers are awesome and offer lots of support

    Cons

    no money.. lots of supplies need to be purchaced by teachers

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    As a Special Education Teacher, the job is very difficult, but rewarding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The starting salary is very competitive for newer teachers, but much less comptetitive for veteran teachers. The benefits are very good. Every new teacher receives support from a Consulting Teacher.

    The career prospects for Special Educations Teachers are pretty good, especially if you teach students in a Complex Support Needs program---Autistic Support, Life Skills Support, or Multiple Disabilities Support. Teaching AS, LSS, or MDS is nice because there is minimal pressure related to standardized testing; principals mainly care that your paperwork is done and that students are making progress toward their IEP goals and objectives. Many principals will let teachers of AS, LSS, and MDS "do what works" for their students. The District is not losing many students with significant disabilities to charter schools.

    The District provides professional development for teachers, but a lot of the sessions you have to attend on your own time. Most of the teachers are caring and dedicated.

    As a teacher, you have the opportunity to make a noticeable difference in a child's life. On your best days, the job is very rewarding.

    Cons

    Budget cuts have made life really difficult. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars a year on supplies, but the District only provided a $100 reimbursement for the 2013-2014 school year.

    Some of the kids have out-of-control behavior no matter what you do. Teachers often have to break up fights. Dealing with some of the parents can be a headache.

    There is a lot of pressure on regular education teachers to improve test scores and academic achievement because the District is losing so many students to charter schools. Some teachers have classes with 30+ kids and 4 or 5 students with significant behavior problems.

    The climate varies widely from school to school. Each principal/administrator has a lot of autonomy as to how he/she runs his/her school. Some are hands-on, some are hands-off. Some are nice and supportive, others are mean and dictatorial. The best administrators are those who are nice, supportive, and hands-on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep pressuring the Commonwealth to adequately fund the School District. Take better care of the buildings.

    Stop speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You can't say that you value teachers and then ask teachers to take a 10% to 13% paycut.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia

    Pros

    Teaching is all about the children. Each day you are met with smiles and anticipation for what is about to unfold. Sure, there are some serious trying times, but in the end these kids keep calling you "Mom."

    Cons

    Placement security is probably the most stress related issue in the school district, besides the low pay. One year you are teaching one grade, then suddenly you are assigned another grade the following year. The return on your classroom investment $$$ is lost. You can't dress your 6th grade classroom with Kindergarten paraphernalia. Remember, this investment comes out of your pocket....$250.00 from district doesn't reimburse the whole amount.

  6.  

    Lots of instability, pay is ok.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Grants Compliance Monitor  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Grants Compliance Monitor in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The pay is better here than the nonprofit I worked at before I came here. I like my co-workers.

    Cons

    There is constant funding crisis and talk of layoffs. It is very political - who gets promotions, who gets laid off, who knows who, the unions vs non-union, etc. They recently published everyone's salary on the internet, which is not great for morale in the office. I've learned some things from this job, but I never really got the challenge that I wanted and I feel like I am trapped in a system without any power to change things.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've talked to my boss about wanting more work (I'm bored!) and she said she would keep me in mind, but hasn't actually given me any more work.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working in the trenches

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30  in  Phila, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Teacher -- Masters +30 in Phila, PA (US)

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Most students come to learn. We all realize we are in the same budget crunch and try to help each other as much as we can. We confer on issues that affect the school and really try to be a team.

    Cons

    Parents who have no idea about their child, no follow through on rules, lack of support from administration. Lack of supplies, no copiers, ect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support teachers verbally and appreciate the efforts on the front line. Parents must be made to make appointments to discuss issues with teachers so a meeting can be well prepared for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Ok job with too many chiefs and not enough indians

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

    I worked at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Decent, above average salary
    Clean, well-maintained building
    Opportunities for Professional development

    Cons

    Many layoffs on a regular basis
    Many organizational reorgs
    Too many disgruntled, lazy workers who are close to retirement and refuse to work

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    I loved working with my student as well as their families.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fanily Field Representative  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Fanily Field Representative in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I worked at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company had great benefits, retirement funds as well as Professional Development Programs to improve my skills, for my families.

    Cons

    Not being able to get a student in with special needs to get them ready for kindergarten. (If the center is full. )

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I am a hard worker, always early and ready for work on time, I am a full time student that does not interfere with my work, as well as raised a family and I make sure I find time for church. I balance my life in order to keep the stress levels down. I think I did a great job in the past twenty plus years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    The District has, unfortunately become a rutterless ship in spite of management's best intentions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Director in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I worked at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Most of the employees really care about what they do and are their for the right reason. To many of them are, however suffering from burn-out due to the work conditions

    Cons

    There is a constant change in administration which results in a constant change in direction. As each new administration proclaims its vision for a new path, they expect everyone to disregard existing issues and direct their limited resources to the new issues.

    The District's financial problems have created a culture of short-term bandaids that too often are used to cover the problem not fix it. In many ways it is not the administrations fault - the politicians and the press are more interested in immediate results than in systemic changes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is well known that pressure to perform in the classroom has resulted in investigations as to the integrity of test scores. What is less known is that the metrics placed on the administration has created a culture of stress resulting in a loss of integrity in the reporting results as well.

    Cuts in the central office predicated on the desire to not make cuts in the classroom have forced the schools to take on the additional central office activities. These additional activities are passed to the teachers who must use their prep time and classroom time to try to figure out the new requirements. It is resulting in inefficiencies in the system and a loss of "teaching" opportunities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disrespectful treatment of employees and lack of financial investment in education of students.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guifdance Counselor  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Guifdance Counselor in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    I have been working at School District of Philadelphia full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    There are many good, dedicated employees who have a desire to insure student success.
    There are many excellent schools doing a good job under challenging conditions.

    Cons

    Lack of financial stability. Each year, especially this year, students, teachers, and staff are fighting to keep the school district afloat. Staff, students, and families can not rely on schools operating adequately each year.
    Schools have been closed to be sold to the highest bidder. Each year more schools are being converted to charter schools. The overall moral is low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See that all the Philadelphia Public Schools are fully and fairly funded on a long-term basis while showing
    respect to the students, parents, and staff. The school district cannot risk a repeat of the circumstances, i.e.
    massive layoffs, school closings, etc. or more families will move out of the city and those that remain will
    suffer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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