Sunday, October 11, 2015

Teachers Rate Eva Moskowitz/ Success Academy Charters as "Toxic" and "Miserable Place to Work"

Don't even both applying. You might as well quit teaching...

They could barely get enough trolls...

Success Academy Charter Schools

21 reviews

Success Academy Charter Schools Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture

Miserable place to work
Teaching Assistant (Former Employee), HarlemAugust 1, 2015
Pros: None
Cons: Bad hours, absurd discipline policies, awful culture
The modus operandi of Success Academy is to hire college kids right out of school. Hardly any of the "teachers" have any real experience or have any idea what they are getting into. The majority wash out within a year or two -- or get fired.

The atmosphere can best be described as Kafka-esque. The hours are long, and the kids are held to quasi-abusive standard of discipline. My 5th graders, for instance, were only allowed to go to the bathroom twice a day at predetermined times and are accompanied into the bathroom by a teacher. The students must remain silent during lunch. Special Ed students are quietly purged. Teachers are constantly being fired or quitting midway through the year, so expect co-workers to be mysteriously disappear, never to be heard from again.

Most of the year, the children do nothing but practice taking standardized tests. Unsurprisingly, when at the end of the year the kids score well on standardized exams, Moskowitz points to this as evidence that the kids are being given fantastic educations. Unfortunately, the truth is that most of these kids can't do anything outside of a state test.

Horrible Place To Work
Teacher (Former Employee), West HarlemJuly 17, 2015
Pros: intellegent staff
Cons: Culture of fear as someone put it so perfectly
I would NEVER recommend anyone to work for this school! It has turned me off to all charters, which is a shame because many of them are great academies.

Don't even both applying. You might as well quit teaching

All Work and No Life, So Run Teacher, Run!!!!!
Teacher (Former Employee), Harlem West Middle SchoolApril 8, 2015
Pros: Free snacks and good medical benefits
Cons: Lil to no prep time, no lunch time
A typical day at success was 7 to 6.
The building opens between 6:30-6:45
7:00 -7:20 was a whole school meeting
7:30-8:05 Homeroom (which the teacher covers)
8:05-55 Electives (which you as a teacher have to teach)
8:55-9:50 Snack time, library time, vocabulary time, (which you the teacher had to teach and cover)
9:55-10-45 was my only prep or break of the day and sometimes they would take that away for a meeting or training

10:45-11:35 taught a class
11:35-12:25 taught a class
12:25-12:55 Advisory time which you the teacher lead and teach as well
1:00 -2:00 Lunch time (which you the teacher cover as well)

2:05-2:55 taught another class
2:55-3:45 taught another class
3:45-4:35 taught another class

4:35-4:50 dismissal (which you the teacher lead)
4:50-5:00 you must stand outside until all students are dismissed then you go back up stairs
5:00-5:30 All teachers were required to report to detention and sit with and talk to students
5:40-6:00 All staff team meeting

At 6 :00 you were free to do what you wanted
At 6:30 our building permit was up so half the time they would kick you out the building


The Ceo made a recent statement in the New York Times about former employees stating,
"As for the teachers who said they did not like the environment, Ms. Moskowitz said: “Most of the people who leave are a little angry, like they don’t like their work and they don’t seem happy teaching, and we really can’t have people who don’t love it.”"

Translation meaning that those who left success were not cut out for teaching even though you had success teaching prior to teaching there.

April 16, 2015
I had the above schedule two times a week on Monday and Friday with one prep. Wednesday I had one prep as well. On Tuesday and Thursday I had the same schedule as above except I had two preps and four classes to teach. But these preps were taking away sometimes for meetings or to cover a class when people quit, went to a training, or they were absent. Mind you before Christmas we lost 8 staff members, then after we lost 7 staff members. This is the norm here because the first year in this school building we lost 13 staff members before Christmas, and the second year in this building we lost 12 staff members before Christmas.

Productive and extremely fun and friendly work environment
Human Resources Intern (Former Employee), New York, NYFebruary 23, 2015
Success Academy Charter School has one of the best attitudes towards improving education. Everyone works their hardest to improve the Academy, and the culture they have created is full of energy and diverse. Have been there only one summer, but I felt like a part of the team.

Great professional development
Operations Department, Operations Manager (Former Employee), New York, NYOctober 30, 2014
We worked over 55 Hours a week. My co-workers were great. Hardest part of the Job was dealing with the time and physical lifting. The greatest part is communicating with staff and children.
I learned more in managing projects in business and the science of a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

Avoid working here if you really care for kids
Middle School Math Teacher (Former Employee), Bronx, NYOctober 18, 2014
Pros: salary and benefits are very cheap
Cons: idiot supervisors, no work life balance, barely any prep times, must teach electives
Success Academy prides itself with test scores and such but the kids don't know as much as they say they do. You can clearly tell the main concern is high test scores and not foundational learning. At the end of the day principals just care for the test scores so network isn't up theirs. They also say they love feedback but truthfully this is one directional. The principal I worked with was very u professional, lacked the ability to spell or proofread anything she sent to the staff members and had the nerve to tell kids they needed to do it. She never practiced what she preached and many of the school's you will find this. If you know your subject we'll find another place to work.

Operations (Former Employee), New York, NYSeptember 25, 2014
Associates are great to work with. Each day is different but does require a lot of paperwork.

Not the best place to work
Operational Role (Former Employee), New York, NYSeptember 15, 2014
Pros: healthcare is amazing, free beverages and snacks once a week
Success achieves amazing results with educating inner city children. However, working there is miserable. There is incredibly high turnover for a reason.

Fast pace house of learning
Office Coordinator (Current Employee), New York, NYMay 15, 2014
Pros: long hours
Cons: not compensation for overtime
Excellent for college graduates. Have been here for 5 plus years want to go back to my first love the Medical Community.

Avoid phone interviews at all cost
Grants and Contracts Manager (Former Employee), BrooklynMarch 5, 2014
Cons: inappropriate phone interviews
Please be advised that phone interviews may be conducted with excessive noise in the background which crates a very tough atmosphere for you the applicant when delivering key points about your experience.

Dedicated colleagues, supportive work environment with room to grow
Marketing (Current Employee), NetworkJanuary 25, 2014
Cons: transitioning from start-up mode
As a mission-driven organization Success Academy attracts dedicated, intelligent employees and fosters a supportive team environment. The organization is growth-oriented, and supports the professional development of all staff. Employees are recognized for hard work and achievements - if you care about ed reform and are eager for new professional opportunities, Success Academy is a great fit.

Great workplace. Staff feels like a family away from home.
Lead Teacher (Current Employee), New York, NYJanuary 21, 2014
Pros: career development, understanding leadership, healthy snacks, tons of resources, great benefits
Success Academy is a great place to work whether you're fresh out of college or have years of experience under your belt. There are many career paths and opportunities for growth within the organization. Leadership as supports your career development. Many workshops and professional development days are offered. You can even request to take place in out of Network workshops that relate to your area of teaching. For example dance teachers can request Alvin Ailey workshops. The scholars are creative, and passionate. Most desire to learn which makes teaching there fun.

The interview told me all I needed to know.
Interviewee (Former Employee), South Bronx, NYDecember 28, 2013
Pros: helping kids maybe?
Cons: disorganized and rude administration, no work-life balance, horrible interview, low salary
I interviewed at this place several months ago for an administrative position and ten minutes after the interview I emailed to tell them I no longer wished to be considered for the position. It was that awful. When I arrived, no one seemed to have a clue why I was there and the three people who needed to interview me had other meetings and event scheduled at the same time, so my interview took place in bursts of about 2 minutes with each person rotating between obligations. No one had read my resume, which clearly indicated I was currently employed full-time and had graduated college two years ago. All of them asked me when I was going to graduate and if I'd ever worked full-time. I was asked my astrological sign during the interview process, and the woman said she was glad I wasn't a pisces because her two children were pisces and they were morons. Uh...great? At one point I sat alone in a room for 45 minutes because my interviewers were all busy. I should have just left because the disrespect they'd shown to that point had been enough to convince me I would hate working there. The work environment seemed horrendously scattered and stressful, and the people I spoke with were rude and frankly a bit loopy. When I mentioned that I mystery shop as an unpaid, purely voluntary side gig, my interviewer said, "If you work for us, you have to quit that. This job is 24/7 and we discourage any outside activities since you should be on call at all times for us. This is a career, not a silly job." This was a 180 from the job posting, which said it was a 9-5 that encouraged the separation of work and life and wanted people who held outside interests. The salary was appallingly low for a "24/7" job in the South Bronx. There were several other huge red flags. Like I said, I withdrew my application immediately after the 2.5 hour interview from hell. It didn't seem like I would have gotten the job anyway, and I'm really okay with that.

Great place to work!
Recruitment Intern (Former Employee), New YorkOctober 1, 2013
As a Recruitment Intern at Success Academy Charter Schools, I had the opportunity to play an integral part in the recruitment and development of incoming teachers and administrators. I felt challenged, supported, and valued as a team member. I worked alongside passionate and committed individuals. My responsibilities included reviewing candidates, research projects, outreach efforts, and administrative tasks. I was able to work hands on with the recruitment and teacher development departments, which taught me about problem solving as well as how to successfully work with a team to achieve long-term goals. This work has instilled in me a belief that all children deserve an equal opportunity to a quality education.

Not good role models
Teacher (Former Employee), New yorkMay 10, 2013
Pros: high pay
Cons: fear of termination
If yelling and calling parents, snapping fingers and degrading students is your thing, HSA is for you.

Fulfilling Work Environment with tons of Learning Opportunities
Network Employee (Current Employee), New York, NYApril 4, 2013
Pros: fun work environment, colleagues are mission driven, tons of learning opportunities, great professional development
Cons: long work days
I started working at Success Academy about a year after graduating college. In my time at the organization, I have been entrusted with key projects and allowed to reach my full potential. I feel confident in making recommendations and have had exposure to varying levels of management across the organization.

Everyone here is mission driven which is a huge plus. It isn't an easy job but the work environment is fun and there is fulfillment gained in knowing that your work is changing the lives of children across New York City.

This is a great place to work if you are a learner and want to consistently develop as a professional.

Schools Policies and Practices Come At the Expense of the Kids
Teacher (Former Employee), New York , New YorkMarch 12, 2013
Pros: clean environment
Cons: cold, not a diverse work environment, politics prioritized over principles
A work environment that is so rigid creates high turnover and frequent firing of teachers for no reason -- little room or respect for autonomy -- students suffer even more than teachers from this frigid revolving door of burntout well meaning adults. Special education students denied accommodations too.

Opportunities for Growth
Manager (Current Employee), SchoolsFebruary 5, 2013
Pros: free lunches if you work in the school! big budget!
Cons: little work/life balance
This company gives you so much experience in other areas, there is a lot of opportunities for growth and professional development. You don't get stuck in the red tape of decisions or promotions. There are also great benefits, such as healthcare at no cost to me, and great bonuses.

Fulfilling work environment with a great, growing team
Network employee (Current Employee), New York, NYJanuary 29, 2013
Pros: see efforts in action in real time. growth opportunities. every day is different.
Cons: long work day.
At SA, the team does wonderful, cause related work that really changes children's lives. You get to see your efforts in action in real time. It's a very fast paced work environment where the bar is set high. Working here you are required to be flexible and be the solution. Everyone pitches in and rolls up their sleeves. If you have a recommendation that would improve the organization, you're encouraged to speak up regardless of your role or level.

Constructive criticism is on going and in real time. You're constantly being encouraged to better yourself and given the feedback to do so. The hours are long, but the benefit of knowing you really are making a difference makes it worth it.

Toxic Work Environment & Ambivalent Senior Leadership
Manager (Current Employee), New York, NYAugust 1, 2012
Pros: smart people, great benefits package, advancement opportunities
Cons: low morale, high turnover, culture of fear
Success Academy Charter Schools has exceptionally low morale and exceptionally high employee turnover due to the utter disregard and even disdain with which the senior management treat the majority of the employees.

Members of upper management have been known to throw work at employees, make culturally insensitive comments (a huge gaffe considering the diverse populations we serve), and to suggest that employees must have deep-seated personal issues if they seek encouragement or feedback from their managers.

It is a truly toxic environment that burns out many exceptionally bright and talented people. This does, of course, create a lot of opportunity for advancement because people are constantly leaving the organization. For those that can stick it out, there is good pay for a non-profit organization and very generous benefits.

It is unfortunate because Success has an important mission and offers a valuable service to the communities that it serves. Hearing success stories from families whose children are reaching their full academic potential in our schools is a rewarding part of the job, but it is a bittersweet one when you know that our incredibly dedicated teachers live in a culture of fear where the threat of dismissal hangs over their heads constantly if test scores are not constantly and dramatically improving.

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