STAR Education Reviews

Updated 26 June, 2014
Updated 26 June, 2014
16 Reviews

2.5
16 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Katya Bozzi
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    The kids are what make you stick around... Despite working few hours for little pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at STAR Education

    Pros

    Being given the opportunity to teach standards based material that is focused on fun. Classroom instruction is run formally, but you also get the chance to play and enjoy lots of much needed recreation with the kids. This job provides great experience if you are working towards becoming a certified teacher. The satisfaction you get from this job will come solely from the relationships you build with the children and families.

    Cons

    This is not a job to keep long term. No possibility of a raise or increased hours. You are expected to write curriculum that often requires time outside of the work day; they say that you need to do curriculum on site but then don't provide the time to do it. Sites are often understaffed, causing stress and strain on the available staff. They hire mostly high school graduates / college students and it shows. Much of the staff lack common sense and/or simply don't care enough about the job, leaving most the work to those who do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward employees that are responsible and trustworthy with raises or bring back the head teacher position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Employee Retention and Happiness is not a Concern.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at STAR Education

    Pros

    Being part of a large team that works hard to provide incredible learning opportunities for children. Teachers truly enjoy the teaching experience, are good at what they do, are fun to be around and work with. Events are fun, over-the-top, and are miraculously pulled together last minute. Programming is excellent and the forefront of the organization's mission. Everyone works very hard at their own projects, and swoops in to assist others as needed.

    Cons

    Executive management is not truly interested in holding accountability, otherwise more structure would be in place. They claim to want to oversee everything, but don't pay attention when you try to consult with them. Money is mismanaged, its difficult to tell where funding goes once it comes in. The large events are never approached early enough, and outcomes are unknown until days beforehand. Fundraising is not a true concern, which is mind-boggling for a non-profit. In fact, "Development" as a department is not respected or trusted by the executive level, who is rapt with paranoia about letting others do their job. HR as a department is nearly non-existent, as there is ZERO confidentiality when discussing issues and no consistent method of handling situations. The CEO often accuses people randomly of stealing or child abuse before listening to details or talking to the people who might be involved. The employees who have stayed the longest are comfortable in positions that exhaust them and are treated to and spoken to as subordinates. Although job descriptions and responsibilities change frequently amongst employees, there is ZERO opportunity for real advancement... and as was recently announced "NO RAISES FOR ANYONE."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A complete overhaul of management procedures is desperately needed. Get therapy for Founders Syndrome.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great mission, not so great upper management

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time

    Pros

    The company spans most of southern California, so it makes a huge impact. The programs are well thought out, and the children are the main priority. Unique and passionate instructors and lessons, and its clear that everyone here is good at, and cares about their job.

    Cons

    Employees are under-compensated, and under-stimulated, and often stressed out. Upper-management seems paranoid.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Really care about the Kids but serious mismanagement of company and poor compensation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Culver City, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA (US)

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people that you work with on a regular basis are extraordinary. Very flexible schedule and the company is All About the Kids.

    Cons

    The upper management of this company is atrocious and is driving it into the ground. The CEO pays her two children for doing negligible work and distracting current employees. Many days they don't come in, when they do you wish they didn't. "No longer offering raises to any employees". There is very little room for upward movement in the company and once attained is extremely stressful. The accounting department has a couple bright spots but overall is overbearing and incompetent at their jobs. The people that run the company really have no idea how many of the employees feel about the environment or the amount of work that people actually do on a daily basis. Most people feel under appreciated and overworked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to completely change upper management and restructure power scheme within the company. CEO and family need to go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Star education is an a nonprofit ran like a dictatorship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teach/Administrative  in  Culver City, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Teach/Administrative in Culver City, CA (US)

    I have been working at STAR Education part-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    helping children and a part time schedule

    Cons

    Do not receive raises and there isn't any real upward mobility. The CEO and CFO are every insulting when talking to staff. Not to mention the classroom management trainer is very rude and treats us all like children. The CFO and CEO want more and more from staff without any incentive. While the CEO's son and daughter make $100,000 and year and they barely doanything. Most people leave with in the 1st 2 years of work because of the unfair practices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to treat your staff with respect and give raises.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized and inefficient

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time

    Pros

    Great people at this organization. Many people who are willing to sacrifice their time/energy to the enrichment of students. Lots of great students and kids, making the job bearable.

    Cons

    Disorganized, poorly managed, nepotism, does not reward employees, low pay, poor accounting practices, no room for advancement. The list of cons continues, but turnover is a great indicator of employee satisfaction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house! Company needs a new Accounting Department, and to put the emphasis back on the students. Hire professionals who understand the product / service they're selling. Put egos aside to address actual student concerns.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Wonderful and enriching work, inconsistent leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at STAR Education as an intern

    Pros

    Enriching work and work environment, great programs that reach a lot of kids especially in under served communities, great staff, fun work

    Cons

    Inconsistent leadership and unorganized events

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan events farther in advance to save money and be more organized, cause less stress

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    STAR is all about the kids!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administration  in  Culver City, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Administration in Culver City, CA (US)

    I have been working at STAR Education part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    STAR has been nothing but supportive to me since the moment they hired me. My first impression was WOW - the employees here are amazing! Everyone is so friendly, the departments are so innovative, and my co-workers are all brilliant. It is inspiring to learn from all of the people that have worked with STAR 20+ years (talk about an impressive retention rate!)

    It's important to understand that everything STAR does is for the kids. With that said, STAR's priority is to hire the best staff; if a staff member does exemplify behavior that will ensure a safe, enriching, and educational environment for the kids, he or she will not be asked to work beyond his or her 90 day probationary period. Staffing is always dependent on what is BEST for the KIDS. Parents are extremely appreciative of this diligence and have given STAR 5 stars on Yelp!

    The family that began STAR and continues to run the organization has made many sacrifices to make sure all employees have stable jobs and great health insurance. Very few jobs in the non-profit world can provide health insurance right now, and even less are giving out raises. All STAR administrators are working extremely hard behind the scenes to make constant improvements for everyone.

    Just like at any non-profit, all administrators (office staff, site directors, and department heads) are asked in their job description that they be part of our fundraising efforts. Fundraising and marketing are a team effort that is very rewarding. Part-time STAR teachers are not asked to fundraise, but they are encouraged by their Site Directors to volunteer at some of STAR's really fun community events. Volunteering at community events is a fun way to bond with staff and kids outside of the school environment.

    Management is very encouraging and makes sure every single employee feels like they are an important part of the "STAR family". STAR employees come from all backgrounds which make it a very diverse and interesting place to work. People on Glassdoor complain about cake (who complains about cake?!) when in reality the Executive Director pays for this personally because she believes in celebrating those who work hard and share her passion to give the kids what they deserve! Cake Wednesdays are a favorite for many among the staff.

    All in all, STAR has been an amazing, supportive, and uplifting work environment and I hope the handful of UNTRUE negative reviews on here don't skew anyone's opinion of such a wonderful place. The STAR program is so fantastic and has changed lives for many - just ask our kids, parents, schools and communities!

    Cons

    The office can sometimes be loud and bustling. There are always new supplies coming in and going out to the schools, and often times there are trainings happening for new programs. Most STAR employees thrive in this fast and fun environment. But, if you like things very quiet and slow then this office is not for you!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back Cake Wednesdays! :)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Questionable management ethics but well-meaning co-workers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at STAR Education full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Most people doing the day-to-day work are very nice and hard-working people. Everyone is doing their best to improve the lives of children through after school education. They have some cool programs for kids. Most employees are kind and great co-workers. There can be some flexibility with work hours within reason.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, this company is run more like a fraternity or sorority house and the top management (which is really just one person) bases many decisions on emotion and what feels like a strange popularity contest with the employees. Basically if you're in, you're in. But if you are not liked or you do or say anything that threatens the establishment, you're fair game for ridicule or justifiable firing. I've heard well-meaning, hard-working employees scolded like children in the open office environment. It is unprofessional, unfair and can create a "walking on eggshells" office environment.

    This management style leads to unfairness across the board and little accountability at any level. STAR is run by a mother and her two grown children. They are the kind of people who would rather buy you lunch or a birthday cake than actually give you a raise or genuine praise for a job well done. Anyone who questions the integrity of the company or suggests a better way to do things is either labeled a trouble-maker and demonized or simply gotten rid of and then bad-mouthed once they are gone. It can be a toxic environment.

    The company is technically a non-profit and management is always complaining in large group meetings that they are broke. But there are no real steps taken to change or improve the situation. The financial stress is placed back on the employees (as an explanation why no one gets raises) while management over-commits resources. There is health insurance for full-time employees but no retirement benefits of any kind. The majority of employees are not full time and treated as somewhat expendable. They are constantly interviewing for new people.

    The parking situation has already been mentioned and is truly atrocious. Some employees have to walk several blocks to find parking just to attend weekly mandatory meetings. But management has reserved parking spaces so they never really address it as the true problem it is. Many of the best people end up leaving for a more professional environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop more professional management practices and adopt a conflict of interest policy that is also followed. Develop better transparency as a non-profit organization. Stop using guilt to motivate employees into unpaid volunteerism.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best Education Non Profit in LA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Head  in  Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Department Head in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at STAR Education full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working for STAR and with STAR is a real treat. Their programs help improve the lives of children all over Los Angeles. The office atmosphere is very laid back and everyone is very friendly. All of the employees are helpful and engaging! I have learned tons about managing people and organizing events working for STAR.

    Cons

    The parking at the offices is very limited and you must own a car to work for them as the schools are all over Los Angeles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please buy more parking space!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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