District students among the state's best on ACT

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Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District seniors who took the American College Test (ACT) in 2012-13 fared better than almost all of their state peers.

The district's composite score at Middleton High School was 25.5. That was the fourth-highest average among high schools in the state in 2012-13 and tied for third among school districts. MCPASD students had the same composite average for the third straight year. They had the third-highest average in the state in 2011-12.

The state average composite score was 22.1. The only high schools with higher ACT averages than MCPASD were Whitefish Bay (26.0), Kohler (25.9) and Madison West (25.7).

Here is a chart with the seven school districts who scored at 25 or higher. Also included is the percentage of students who took the ACT and the percentage of students who receive free or reduced in the school district. Studies have shown that students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds typically score lower on tests.

School ACT average % Tested % Free and Reduced
Whitefish Bay 26.0 86.8 2.6
Kohler 25.9 92.9 0
Middleton 25.5 77.8 16.3
Gilmanton 25.5 54.6 43.7
Waunakee 25.2 73.6 10.1
Alma 25.2 40.9 38.8
Mequon-Thiensville 25.0 85.9 8.9

About 77.8 percent (364) of the 468 seniors who were enrolled at MHS took the ACT in 2012-13. When seniors from Clark Street Community School and 21st Century eSchool are added to the possible test-takers, that percentage drops to 69.8.

Middleton had the second-highest score among the 10 schools in the Big Eight Conference and had the highest participation rate. Here are the results for every Big Eight school:

School ACT average Participation
Middleton 25.5 77.8%
Madison West 25.7 71.0%
Madison Memorial 25.2 68.8%
Verona 23.6 67.3%
Sun Prairie 22.7 69.0%
Madison East 22.0 63.1%
Janesville Craig 21.9 77.3%
Madison La Follette 21.5 57.5%
Janesville Parker 20.9 61.6%
Beloit Memorial 19.5 45.3%

The composite average tied the highest ever recorded by MCPASD students.

Ninety-two percent of MCPASD students showed preparedness for college level English, compared to the state average of 75 percent. While 54 percent of state students are ready for college level algebra, the MCPASD average was 80 percent.

About 74 percent of MCPASD students are college-ready for social science, compared to the state average of 53 percent. Finally, 67 percent of MCPASD students area ready for college level biology, while the state average is 47 percent.

Wisconsin students were tied for second in the nation in ACT average score. Minnesota was first with 23.08, while Wisconsin and Iowa were at 22.1. The national average was 20.9, a drop of two-tenths of a point from a year ago. About 71 percent of the 2013 state public and private school graduates took the ACT during their high school career.

The ACT is a series of tests in English, math, science and reading. The ACT is used by many colleges as a factor in determining who is accepted to a school.