School District of Philadelphia

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

Updated Jul 25, 2014

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2.5 87 reviews

21% Approve of the CEO

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr

William R. Hite Jr

(28 ratings)

27% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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
87 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Not a job but an adventure in Urban education

    Teacher -- Masters +30 (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

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

    ConsExtremely 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 Senior ManagementFigure 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Not a bad place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCo- workers are awesome and offer lots of support

    Consno money.. lots of supplies need to be purchaced by teachers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

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

    Special Education Teacher (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

    ProsThe 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.

    ConsBudget 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 Senior ManagementKeep 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    I wake up everyday with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm teaching children how to have fun learning to become great adults.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsTeaching 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."

    ConsPlacement 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.

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Working in the trenches

    Teacher -- Masters +30 (Current Employee) Phila, PA (US)

    ProsMost 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.

    ConsParents 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 Senior ManagementSupport 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Ok job with too many chiefs and not enough indians

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

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

    Fanily Field Representative (Former Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

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

    ConsNot being able to get a student in with special needs to get them ready for kindergarten. (If the center is full. )

    Advice to Senior ManagementI 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Director (Former Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

    ProsMost 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

    ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementIt 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Guifdance Counselor (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

    ProsThere 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.

    ConsLack 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 Senior ManagementSee 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Caring teachers, horrible administrators.

    Teacher -- Masters +30 (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA (US)

    ProsEducators who really care about the kids invest time, energy and money to ensure their students learn and get all they need academically.

    ConsThe district does not give enough supports for teachers to do their job effectively.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your teachers and get a company to manage your finances more efficiently.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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