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High ACTs achieved in local schools; New Berlin and Muskego High School students attain notable scor

Aug. 25, 2014

Local school officials are celebrating the strong scores the classes of 2014 achieved on the ACT college entrance exams.

In New Berlin, the district matched its all-time high composite score of 24.5, last achieved in 2012. Muskego's composite score of 23.8 ranks second highest in the last four years and is nearly a full point higher than last year.

Muskego also upped the percentage of students taking the ACT to a record 76 percent.

Overall, New Berlin seniors ranked in the top 12 schools for ACT performance among Milwaukee and Waukesha County suburban high schools. New Berlin Eisenhower was the second highest scoring high school in Waukesha County with an average composite score of 25.1.

The highest was Whitefish Bay's 26.7 out of a possible 36.

Out of the 31 suburban high schools, the top ACT scores were from Brookfield East, taking second with a composite score of 25.3; Arrowhead, fourth with 24.8; Brookfield Central, fifth with 24.7; Nicolet, sixth with 24.5; Pewaukee and Shorewood tied for seventh with 24.4.

Whitnall and Sussex Hamilton tied for eighth with 24.1; New Berlin West and Greendale tied for ninth with 24; Wauwatosa East, 10th with 23.9; and Muskego, 11th with 23.8.

Five-year trends in both districts show improvement in all subjects the ACT tests — English, math, reading and science.

New Berlin had the highest composite scores in five years in all categories, and Muskego showed improvement in all four subjects.

New Berlin Superintendent Joe Garza said in the news release announcing the scores: "These strong ACT scores prove once again that our high expectations and rigorous curriculum are providing students with the foundation they need to succeed."

Muskego-Norway Superintendent Kelly Thompson said in a news release: "These are encouraging results for our continuous improvement metrics."

The composite scores of all three high schools are well above the state average composite score of 22.2 and the national average of 21.0 for the class of 2014.

Lisa Safago, director of secondary student learning, paid tribute to Muskego High School teachers Scott Barry, Tara Heus, Ashlee Fugate and Lance Matthews for designing and implementing the new ACT preparation courses.

Another indicator that Muskego Norway Schools' efforts are paying off is in the proportion of students achieving the ACT benchmark scores that indicate a 75 percent chance of success doing college-level work, she said.

In that measure, Muskego students exceeded previous records.

For the first time, 43 percent of students taking the ACT met all four college-level benchmarks for English composition, algebra, social science and biology, compared to the state average of 34 percent.

Notably, 73 percent of the class of 2014 taking the ACT reached college readiness benchmarks in mathematics, a new record high score. In English, 86 percent reached the college readiness benchmark.

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