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Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Network Needs 1,000 Hires. Don’t Bother Unpacking.

May 8, 2020

UPADTE 05-09-20: The post below has been updated to reflect that there is a second SA nonprofit directly related to its schools. In my original post, I used info for only one. Thus, I needed to update this post. Even so, SA still evidences notable turnover.

Thank you to Andy for bringing to my attention.

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Eva Moskowitz’s New York-based charter school chain, Success Academies (SA), burns through teachers and other employees. For 2020-21, the charter chain needs another thousand, a devouring that spins well into the “who’s hiring” announcement in the May 08, 2020, CNN Business:

Education

Success Academy Charter Schools

The New York City-based charter schools program told CNN Business it needs to fill 1,000 full-time positions at 45 schools for the 2020-21 school year.

The program is looking for 700 to 800 New York City teachers, including entry-level K-12 teaching positions in science, math, chess and debate. The company is also looking for assistant principals and school business operations managers in addition to filling associate roles in operations, assessment and special education.

“Our operations positions support schools and families and frequently candidates coming from the retail or hospitality industries do well in these roles,” a Success Academies spokesperson said via email.

SA’s goal of hiring 1,000 individuals was posted on Glassdoor on April 10, 2020, at which time SA advertised a “virtual information session” for April 14, 2020:

Company Updates

  • Success Academy Charter Schools

    29 days ago

    Join Success Academy Charter Schools’ on 4/14 for a virtual information session to learn about the 1,000 open teaching and school-based positions being offered for 2020-2021. #HiringNow

evamoskowitz

Eva Moskowitz

A pressing question is why Moskowitz’s schools have so many open positions at one time. One thousand hires is notably high given SA’s employment numbers across the years.

SA operates three nonprofits. One of them Success Foundation, was apparently created to supplement Moskowitz’s salary.

The remaining two are more directly related to SA schools.

The first, Success Academy Charter Schools, Inc. (EIN 20-5298861), (SA Inc.) was founded in 2006 and lists total number of employees as follows for FY2008 to FY2017:

SA Inc.’s Total Number of Individuals Employed in a Given Tax Year (FY2008-FY2017):

  • FY2017:  483
  • FY2016:  442
  • FY2015:  488
  • FY2014:  608
  • FY2013:  574
  • FY2012:  254
  • FY2011:  125
  • FY2010:  130
  • FY2009:  112
  • FY2008:  109

The second, Success Academy Charter Schools NYC (EIN 36-4629540) (SA NYC), was founded in 2009 and lists total number of employees as follows for FY2008 to FY2017:

SA Inc.’s Total Number of Individuals Employed in a Given Tax Year (FY2008-FY2017):

  • FY2017: 2,786
  • FY2016: 2,330
  • FY2015: 1,891
  • FY2014: 1,340
  • FY2013: 1,051
  • FY2012:  432
  • FY2011:  116
  • FY2010:   69
  • FY2009:   53
  • FY2008:   33

So, if we combine the total employees listed on both SA Inc. and SA NYC tax filings, we learn that in FY2017 (the most recent filings available), SA employed 2,786 + 483 = 3,269 individuals.

Let’s assume that in 2020, SA employs 4,000 individuals.

Given that SA is advertising for 1,000 new hires, that means it is possible that SA is losing one in four employees.

According to SA’s profile on Glassdoor, in 2020, SA presents itself as employing between 1,001 and 5,000 people.

Even if SA employs 5,000 individuals (let’s go with the upper bound), 1,000 open positions means that one in five SA employees bailed or were terminated.

But let’s assume that some of this hiring is due to grade-level expansion, especially at a number of SA’s middle schools (several have not yet expanded to the expected eighth-grade level). Even if SA needs 200 new teachers to satisfy grade-level expansion (and based upon info available on expansion goals for individual schools, 200 new teachers seems excessive), that’s still presumably 800 already-existing teacher/admin positions SA must fill for 2020-21 and, as such, is arguably a shaky picture of human resource stability.

SA appears to be experiencing some remarkable turnover, and that despite the pandemic. By seeking 1,000 new employees, perhaps Moskowitz is hiring in reserve, anticipating SA-brand, employee exodus in the face of a greater need to ensure social distancing at school.

Is working at SA so bad that teachers/admin would rather try to find another job in the face of COVID-19 rather than stay?

A Glassdoor review dated May 07, 2020, says that work so dominates one’s life that work-life balance is irrelevant because work takes it all. A May 05, 2020, review refers to the network’s mangement of students as “militant.” An April 19, 2020, review notes that working as SA is not sustainable as a career and also comments that school leadership teams notably lack people of color and that the staff does not resemble those they serve. An April 29, 2020, review notes that teacher attrition is obvious from week to week. And on it goes, which brings me back to my opening statement:

Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academies network burns through teachers and other employees. If you get a job there, don’t plan on staying.

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4 Comments
  1. andy permalink

    There are 2 Success Academy entities – you need to look at 990s for both.

    • Success Foundation chiefly serves as funding for Eva’s salary. I posted about it years ago.

      So there are three SA-related orgs. I put a note at the opening of my post. Thank you, Andy. I will update my post.

  2. Robert Tellman permalink

    John White did the same thing at LDOE – hand picked whom he wanted to lay off, then proceeded to hire who he wanted.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: Success Academy Is Hiring! But Don’t Bother Unpacking. | Diane Ravitch's blog

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