Success Academy Charter Schools Employee Reviews

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Great children, terrible place to work
Lead Teacher (Former Employee) –  New York, NYNovember 7, 2018
It's true. Success Academy children are very bright. But it is to be expected when they are working on the same material for the same exact test every month. The children are surprisingly well-behaved given how stressed out they are, starting from early in kindergarten. Teachers are BEYOND overworked. Imagine being hired to be an associate teacher, then learning just weeks before school that you're going to be a lead teacher with 30-something kids. How is this fair to the teacher or students?

The company's retention rate is atrocious. I was only one of many teachers who left. It's sad and hard on the children, but Success Academy does not care one bit about the teachers. If you're lucky, you get great leadership in your school. But for myself and many others, we got stuck with principals and assistant principals on power trips that made working at the school nbearable.
Pros
fully stocked classroom
Cons
no set lunch breaks, unfair compensation, long workday, no work/life balance
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2.0
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Good place for college graduates with no professional experience to begin.
Business Operations Manager (Former Employee) –  New York, NYMay 3, 2018
Children are the center of everything at the schools.
Their safety and education is the priority.
Ridiculously high turnover at Associate Director (middle management) level.
The most difficult part was expectations were not clear and instability at the next level of management.
The most enjoyable part was greeting children and parents each morning at arrival.
Pros
Competitive pay, Good benefits choices, Positive influence for children
Cons
Poor leadership and management at AD level, Narrow-minded managers, Vague expectations
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2.0
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Wonderful Children, Robotic, Unreasonable administration
Lead Teacher (Current Employee) –  New York, NYSeptember 14, 2018
Across the board the children are a delight. The resources I was given as a teacher were phenomenal as were the health benefits. That is where the good stops. Working for success academy is the exact equivalent of being in an abusive relationship. They shame, belittle or overwork you and then try to make up for it with gifts, endless amounts of free supplies, and health benefits. I have seen teachers be pushed out because they let their personal lives "interfere" with work. There is an expectation that you must work as long as your senior leader demands of you and the culture can often be toxic depending on the personality of your senior leader. The organization as a whole does not care about the human aspects of your life. You are belittled for getting sick or having personal/family issues. You are made to feel weak if you do not over extend yourself. You are rewarded for being a robot and demeaned for being an actual human. If you have strong behavior management and can advocate for yourself in a neutral, professional manner then you stand a chance. The demand in this institution is not normal despite what they think. Success Academy believes you must work insanely hard to close the achievement gap. The matter of the fact is, you are also human, you are also important. You deserve a good work life/balance, especially in a challenging profession like teaching. If you are not a robot, don't apply. If you are a robot, you will do well.
Pros
joyful and happy kids, free snacks, unlimited supply resources, excellent health benefits
Cons
condescending leadership/management, robotic expectations, militant treatment of children, dehumanizing culture
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3.0
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Good place to get started out of college
Operations Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Brooklyn, NYOctober 28, 2018
This was a good job to learn skills, but not a place I could have stayed for a career. Long hours that weren't compensated fairly given all that was expected of my role.
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Overall very tense and cold environment.
Associate Science Teacher (Former Employee) –  New York, NYMay 18, 2018
The overall culture at success is very militant. The management is very poor as the average lifespan of a success employee is just a year. No one really knows what their doing in the higher up positions and the principals of the schools are as young as 27, with less than a year of teaching experience. There is a lot of micromanagement that takes place and over the course of my time at success did I hear one piece of positive feedback to any member of staff from leadership. They have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of not only the adults, but also the children and anyone who has ever been reprimanded appears to be flagged and they will analyze that persons every movement for mistakes. There is little joy throughout the staff and students on a daily basis.
Pros
Lots of free snacks and food. The children are wonderful!
Cons
No positive feedback, and the leadership likes to micromanage everything.
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3.0
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Success Academy Charter Schools
Community Relations Manager -Education (Current Employee) –  Bronx, NYJuly 11, 2018
Overall Success Academy Charter Schools has plenty of opportunities for growth overall career advancement. Being an operations leader in my current school (The Bronx), the scholars, parents, teachers and staff have created a true sense of community like you may not seen at any other school. Yes! the work hours are long (7am-6pm) including a "working lunch". However, staff are committed to scholar success and the company's overall mission statement. Most enjoyable part of this job was the children! They are the highlight of every moment of your every day!
Pros
smart, creative, hard-working, funny co-workers
Cons
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!)
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Smoke and Mirrors
Lead Teacher (Current Employee) –  Bronx, NYMarch 19, 2018
Success looks great on paper. However, if you spend more than a few days at one of the networks schools you will see the truth behind the name. Success' main focus is data. Their numbers are great because they drill students over and over on the same types of questions every single day for months. Its more like a test taking factory and less of a school. It breaks my heart when I see students crying, feeling bad about themselves because they didn't get a specific score. Students do not learn how to think creatively or be analytical. They learn how to be successful on the state test.
Pros
working with amazing kids and families, Uber business account, free snacks, pretty good pay
Cons
no work/life balance, unprofessional management
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4.0
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Great job for teachers beginning in industry
Lead Teacher (Current Employee) –  New York, NYMarch 6, 2018
I have loved working for SA for several years and find that it is a great job when you have a lot of personal time to devote to it. The hours are very long, though the compensation is generous. This job is not very suitable for working parents.
Pros
competitive salary, great benefits, resources available to all teachers
Cons
work/life balance is difficult to achieve, some schools have negative work environments
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Get your experience and leave
Office Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Bronx, NYMarch 4, 2018
Best place to kickstart your career after graduation. Leadership is VERY young and not very seasoned managers which results in high turnover rates because they set up impossible expectations. Promotions are dependent on your ability to tolerate recurrent power trips. Company as a whole does not care about staff. Not the place to build a career if you intend to start a family. You will be shamed for having any sort of daycare issue. If your child is sick and you need to stay home, they will expect you to be glued to your laptop instead of caring for your child. Workplace culture here is closer to corporate. Very cutthroat. It is not an unusual sight to see grown adults cry over testing.
Pros
good health insurance
Cons
leadership is broken
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This is one of the worst schools to work for.
Associate Teacher (Former Employee) –  Washington Heights, NYAugust 7, 2018
I was recruited for an associate teacher position after passing a myriad of steps in the hiring process. When I finally made it to staff training, the employer fired me at the end of the week. At the training, they have a scripted curriculum where they tell teachers what to say and literally how to teach word for word. You watch students being drilled like little soldiers even during lunch and recess. During the training, you see it's mostly young adults fresh out of college ranging from 22-28 years old with no teaching background/experience being trained to be teachers. The whole week of training, you're being observed the WHOLE time. Someone from HR comes with a laptop observing how you talk to the kids and "teach". I was asked in the middle of the week at the end of training to meet privately with HR staff and was told I don't have a strong classroom presence. I thought why did I go through 3-5 different interviews to be deemed unqualified to teach? Especially if I had teaching experience. This was their first warning. After I worked to improve myself for the rest of the week, I was told by other colleagues that I made so much progress. However, it was not enough for Success Academy and they just fired me on the last day of training and said I'm not fit to be a teacher in their school. If you want a real teaching job, don't work here. You're wasting your time and will be fired at any time in the school year.
Pros
Salary, benefits
Cons
Turnover, young admin and HR (under their 30s), lack of professionalism from HR
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4.0
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Talented group of people at a well-resourced and commendable non-profit
Sr. Associate (Former Employee) –  New York, NYSeptember 6, 2018
Full of ambitious and talented people concerned with making a difference in the world. The company is very well-resourced which translates to great benefits and a nice working environment.
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2.0
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Good for some, but lots of problems
Teacher (Current Employee) –  Brooklyn, NYNovember 21, 2018
I would not recommend working for SA schools. They do compensate their teachers well, but the hours are non-stop. That would be tolerable if there wasn't such a problem with their teaching method. They promote a hostile school environment where students can be punished for minor things that are out of their control. Suspensions and push-outs leave many of the special needs students falling behind and being held back. There are constant cover ups and spin emails coming from network that try to minimize the problems at SA. FFS, the CEO's son taught a high school class the year after he graduated from high school, with no college at all, and they tried to frame this as "normal".
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4.0
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Working
Teacher (Current Employee) –  Queens, NYOctober 12, 2018
High stressed environment. Can be a great place to work if you love being on the move most of the time. Management style varies across the board and feedback can be overlapping or inconsistent at times.
Pros
educating
Cons
stressful
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4.0
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Long Days Great Kids
Athletic Director (Current Employee) –  New York, NYOctober 11, 2018
Days are exceptionally long with great benefits and many holidays during the year. The school days are long with great kids in a high demand atmosphere.
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3.0
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Tough Learning Curve
Operations Manager (Current Employee) –  New York, NYMay 11, 2018
Great place to start your journey into education. Office politics rule how advancement/promotion is dictated. This goes for all of the various departments.
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Very intense, fast paced environment
Manager (Current Employee) –  New York, NYJanuary 18, 2018
If you are passionate about education and a high achiever, this could be the environment where you will excel. You will thrive at SA if you work well under pressure and value being pushed to grow. SA is not for you if you do not thrive under these conditions. There is limited training--it is more of a culture of being thrown in the deep end and being expected to swim. Again, whether this is a good fit is ultimately about whether these are conditions you thrive under or not.
Pros
free snacks, business uber account, prestigious "brand" name in NYC
Cons
No lunch breaks, 10+ hour days, controversial organization and CEO
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Beware
Community Relations Manager (Current Employee) –  SchoolJuly 10, 2018
Success is great if you have exceptional management. Unfortunately, if your leadership is messy then your day to day can vary. If you can remain professional while advocating for yourself, you may do alright.
Pros
Lunch, fitness classes at my school, PTO for Operations members, healthcare
Cons
Clicky relationships, leadership dictates life
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4.0
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Okay Exeperience
Lead Teacher (Current Employee) –  New York, NYApril 23, 2018
Working here was an overall fine experience. The only issue is that they mold you to be what they want you to be. There is no room for creativity or for you to just enjoy teaching in your natural style to achieve success for your scholars. They also give you feedback and you implement but they want it perfect first time. They expect you to grow and to develop all on your own, with no true training and development. Then get upset with you if you are not where they want you to be.
Pros
Benefits
Cons
No breaks, more negative than postive feedback, don't genuinely care for the parents more data based
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3.0
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High Demands, Low Compensation
Office Coordinator (Current Employee) –  New York, NYDecember 5, 2017
Working with families and kids is incredible. Poor work/life balance and unfair compensation considering length of a typical work day and stress level
Pros
Tons of freebies, food, perks
Cons
Next to zero breaks, poor management, poor work/life balance, low compensation, high stress, cut-throat culture, terrible hours
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5.0
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Good company
Unknown (Former Employee) –  New York, NYApril 29, 2018
The job culture was absolutely amazing. I had never worked in a setting with such positive energy. Management was always there for you and you never felt unappreciated as an employee.
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Overall rating

2.6
Based on 96 reviews
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