Muddling through the blogosphere

Do Teachers Really Come from the Bottom Third of Colleges?


NWP colleague Natalie Bernasconi recently shared with me the infographic below. We were both disturbed by one of the statistics cited: In the United States nearly half the teachers come from the lower 1/3 of their college classes.

Over a year ago, Larry Ferlazzo challenged the same data, researched its sources, and concluded: “This bottom-third thing does seem to me to be a bunch of baloney.”

Within my circle of district and NWP colleagues, I continually stand back in awe of the work they are doing. They create. They share. They impact the lives of teachers and their students. They continually seek innovative ways of rolling out the curriculum. They make a difference.  They care. They are not from the bottom 1/3 of anything.



  1. This is a great infographic. Thank you so much for sharing.

    As for teachers, I think the really smart ones aren’t sticking around any more. Just heard of one who left after one year in the inner city high school where I spent 21 years. The work is too hard for too little pay and more criticism than anyone should get. Although I felt I was paid well, and I worked very hard and was very successful, the job took its toll. I don’t know if I would do that at 22 years old if there were other options.

    • I too know a few very gifted young teachers, who, after having been pink-slipped several times, plus all of what you described, are planning to move on to other careers in the next school year. A big loss to education.

      The current teacher-bashing campaign, for sure, does more harm than good.

      You’re out of the classroom now?

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