Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Success Academy Charter Schools Reviews

Updated 11 January 2019
490 reviews

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2.6
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Eva Moskowitz
296 Ratings

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

  • "Strong connections are built with other staff members through hard work" (in 24 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 (US)
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Brooklyn, NY (US)
    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. Helpful (3)

    "Operations Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Manager
    Current Employee - Operations Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good pay, amazing kids, growth possibilities

    Cons

    Staff feels no loyalty, leave as soon as they can

  3. "Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work atmosphere and very friendly!

    Cons

    The hours are extremely long and overwhelming.


  4. "Great"

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone really cares about each other and the children. The success community goes above and beyond for the families it serves and really makes sure each child gets the education they deserve!

    Cons

    The hours are very long and you are not paid for the time you spend before 720 and after 4.


  5. "Education Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    Great kids! They are hard working.

    Cons

    Administration and the CEO are a bunch of fakes.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Made me motivated to find another job"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    -The kids. The kids are sweet, hard-working, and fun to interact with. The vast majority of them truly want to do well and are highly motivated to succeed.

    -The coworkers. Most people I worked with were absolutely lovely. My grade team was amazing. Worked together really well to make sure that we were doing the best we could for the kids. Anytime one of us was sick or had to be out, everyone worked together to cover for them. Very positive, and didn't see any backstabbing to get ahead that can happen at some companies.

    -Free food in the TWR, good benefits, having school breaks, etc

    Cons

    -Leadership. Leadership at my school was not the best. Their feedback focuses on what you do wrong much more than what you do right. I felt I received more constructive feedback about how to grow as an employee at the retail job I worked back in high school. One time I was accused of "playing on the computer" while I conferenced with students about a project. When I politely explained why I was using technology at that moment, I got called unprofessional for pushing back. Meanwhile leadership pats themselves on the back constantly.

    -Unrealistic expectations. Leadership seems very happy to blame the teachers for anything that isn't up to par. My school had an attendance rate of 98.5%, and leadership basically told us we were lazy and that we needed to exert more pressure on parents to make sure their kids are in school. Now I'm sure some schools have kids who constantly skip for no reason or parents who don't give a damn, but my school was not like that. If I contact a parent and they say their child has the flu, is attending a family member's funeral, or other completely legitimate excuses I received for absences, I will not be pushing them or making them feel bad about their child being absent.

    -Similarly, the behavior management feels too rigid and uncompromising. My direct leader was consistently on us about having 100% of attention, perfect posture, tracking eyes, hands still, etc. Now I'm a grown adult, and I'll still see coworkers at meetings (including meetings at Success!) tapping their foot, having eyes wandering around the room, and not sitting at rapt attention every second someone is speaking. If this is how people in from their 20's to their 50's act, why are we expecting children whose ages are in the single digits to be perfectly attentive at all moments? If a child is genuinely engaged with the material, working hard and staying focused, and demonstrating how much they learned, I feel it's absurd to give them detention because they got corrections for slouching or holding a pencil when they weren't supposed to be.

    -CEO seems to think she's the best thing to happen to education, and if you don't espouse these views, forget about moving up in the company. She had video conferences in which she suggested people write-in questions or comments for her to address. Anybody whose comment was not praise and adulation got brushed off. Would it be so wrong to say "Hhm you know, maybe we should focus more on socio-emotional development; you've given me some interesting ideas to think about," instead of giving a 5 minute blow off about why the curriculum and everything about the schools is great as is?

    Advice to Management

    Honestly not sure. Management from the top down doesn't seem to want to change. Not sure what advice can be given in this situation. It's funny because they love to say "it's for the kids but about the adults" when they want to criticize people for doing something wrong. Most of us came here to teach for the kids, but the reasons we left were alllllll about the adults.

    Success Academy Charter Schools Response

    26 Dec 2018 – Founder & CEO

    Thank you for your service as a teacher. So glad you loved your colleagues and school community. At SA, we make a real effort to create magical educational communities — it does not just happen. We... More


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Avoid At All Costs If You Value Your Self"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Teacher in Bronx, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Lead Teacher in Bronx, NY (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The ability to connect with the children was truly amazing. They are all unique and talented in their own individual ways and to be able to cultivate and contribute to their social and academic development is truly a rewarding experience.

    Cons

    Where To Begin..

    1.) There is absolutely NO work life balance. Working here is committing yourself to LONG hours up 11hr work days, not accounting for the work you go home and have to do.

    2.) NO Breaks. Your prep periods are used for work an meetings. If you are seen not working then it will be noted and later brought up to discredit your work ethic. Be prepared to eat and work, if you eat at all.

    3.) No real support or guidance. You can be easily promoted if perceived to be strong in behavior management. There is no real investment in developing your craftsmanship as a first or second year teacher.

    PDs are utilized to discuss and compare your school's performance across the success academy network. Often times not purposeful.

    You need to observe and catch onto things quickly. You will be moved around, talked about and even let go if you are unable to quickly adjust to a high stress and militarized environment.

    4.) Data driven is an understatement when talking about success. This school masks a greed to produce high data with a passion for education. Children are STRESSED and filled with anxiety. I've witnessed several incidents where students BREAK DOWN in exams, even inflicting self harm because they are so stressed out about taking an exam and the consequences that result from performing poorly. I have witnessed teachers ridicule and berate scholars for not receiving high scores even if the scholar passed. Children are unhappy, but bribed to instill some sort of joy through "incentives", which are ultimately used to reward scholars who solely perform well and produce high "data". Kids are put back in the middle of the school year if they do not show signs of academic progress right away. Kids will be skipped if they perform well academically, however they do not take into account the social development of the child. I witnessed a child be skipped from kindergarten to 2nd grade, that is just NOT okay.

    5.) Management and Leadership is at my location was absolutely God awful. They were cliquey and completely unsupportive if you "pushed back" on feedback, which could range from anything, from your classroom attendance or requests for additional support. E-mails are often framed in a way to discredit you work ethic and they will fabricate and embellish situations to cover their tails and further discredit you as the teacher. They have unrealistic expectations for teachers and no real measures of support to assist teachers with meeting these "expectations". The few teachers that do have attained it in underhanded ways that ultimately harms the child's perception of what education should look like.

    6.) CEO is out of touch with what is going on in her schools; Or she really believes teachers are disposable just so long as whoever is employed produces the data to further success's agenda in education.

    7.) This organization claims to be committed to providing quality education to the underprivileged, however, parents aren't treated with much respect. Teachers are often required to scold parents for their inability to meet every single expectations success has, not taking into account what a family may be experiencing at home. Truly out of touch with the community they serve.

    8.) You will LOSE your passion to teach if you choose to work here.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in truly supporting your teachers and getting to know the community you serve.

  8. "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


  9. Helpful (4)

    "0 Stars. Truly."

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

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

    Pros

    SA does offer a competitive salary, on site workout classes at the end of the day – in my opinion a tactic to keep you there longer--, and decent benefits while you’re there. They provide tons of snacks and food in the TWR. Does this outweigh the toxic mentality of SA, that’s up to you as a potential recruit to decide.

    Cons

    Working at SA is a questionable experience. I do not advise that you be a mid-year hire at the schools. Unless you start in June/July, you’ll be relying on yourself to learn things, if you learn anything at all. The staff is extremely cliquey and catty. They gossip about parents and do not bother to consider the serious life issues most families have. As there is a great economic disparity between the faculty and the families that comprise the SA student population. There is a great disconnect that makes faculty cold and unconcerned by the goings on of their scholar’s families. They use guilt tactics to get children to school because they distrust parents who keep their kids home sick despite having called to report an illness. School attendance should be at a parents’ discretion not that of a third party’s whose bonus is dependent on school culture (attendance) numbers.
    The staff does not bother to consider the importance of building relationships with families. They put themselves on a pedestal as the solitary word of righteousness and the families attending their schools are constantly in the wrong.
    Even more so, while I was at the school, employees were quitting and requesting site transfers left and right. It was a dumpster fire of toxic mentality coming from higher level positions that no one wanted to continue dealing with. They have no problem reminding you that “everyone is replaceable” whenever rumor sprang up of someone leaving.

    There is also an impossible work life balance as employees often work nights and weekends on top of 11 hour days due to having to administer assessments during the workday, watching “unruly” children, and hosting a number of parent meetings throughout the week to chastise them about their culture, child’s academics, or overall lack of “investment”.
    Upon resigning, everything gets cut off day of. No 30 days of additional coverage like a regular company. SA is really all or nothing with their employees. They themselves lack “investment”. I’m not sure if the 30 days grace for benefits is a legal mandate but SA isn’t about following laws when it comes to employment. That is why they don’t want their teachers to unionize. Too many teachers are spending their preps doing work rather than eating and taking their mandated breaks. If they were to unionize, all that would go away. They would be protected employees that SA can no longer exploit.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in sensitivity training.


  10. "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 (US)
    Current Employee - Training Coordinator in New York, NY (US)
    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.