I've tossed a lot of numbers at you thus far, so it's only fair I summarize the findings to this point in a single, visual graphic.

For those who haven't read the posts below, I've evaluated 4th graders at each of the five "failure factories" not based on their raw FCAT performance as a percentage of students achieving a satisfactory grade of 3 or above, but rather based on their predicted performance when controlling for three factors that account for nearly 75% of FCAT performance: 1) percentage of African-American students; 2) percentage of free or reduced lunch students, and; 3) percentage of ESE (exceptional student education, minus gifted) students.

The plots below reflect deviation from where the regression model predicts each school should perform based on district averages for nearly all Pinellas elementary schools (I excluded charters and a couple of schools with exceptionally low totals of 4th grade test takers). The values are percentage point deviations, so a school that passes 10%, though is expected to pass 15% would show as a "-5".

To summarize what we've found to this point, the Times seems to have two schools nailed. Maximo and Fairmount definitely underperform on both FCAT reading and math when controlling for the handicapping factors detailed above - by quite a bit.

According to the model, the Times has unfairly pegged Melrose, which sees a larger proportion of its 4th grade students achieve a 3 or above on both the reading and math exams than the model would say we should expect.

Two other schools, Campbell Park and Lakewood, have mixed results. Each beats model expectations for reading, while coming short on Math. Lakewood makes the best case for rejecting the "failure factory" label, while clearly Campbell Park has some ground to make on its math performance. Failure factories? Jury is still out on these two.

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