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Brookfield's High Schools Both Report Historic ACT Scores

Superintendent says new scores are highest in nearly 50-year district history

Brookfield’s high schools both reported historic highs in ACT scores that were well above the national and state average, according to the district superintendent and state Department of Public Instruction.

The 2011-2012 school year scores for the high schools, which were released early Wednesday morning, were as follows:

The good news for Brookfield Central and Brookfield East High Schools came as the state Department of Public Instruction released ACT scores for Wisconsin that showed the state tied with Iowa for the second highest percentage of 2012 graduates taking the exam in the country.

According to DPI, 71 percent of the state’s 2012 graduates took the ACT, and Wisconsin’s composite score was 22.1, a point ahead of the national composite score of 21.1. In the Elmbrook district, according to DPI, 84.5 percent of students took the test. That figure also has increased dramatically since the mid-1990s, when 76.2 percent took the test.

The district's two high school scores are their highest ever.

“Both are historic highs in the nearly 50-year school district history,” said Elmbrook School Superintendent Mark Hansen. “Both are also increases from last year.” 

Hansen said this continues a positive trajectory for the high schools, saying, “both schools have a four-year trend of increases.”

East’s score rose slightly from 25.0 the year before, but is up from 23.8 percent in the mid-1990s. See East's historic trends here.

Central’s score rose from 25.0 the year before and is up from 23.8 in the mid-1990s. See Central's historic trends here.

Wisconsin saw 47,588 graduates take the ACT at some time during their high school careers, according to a news release from DPI. Statewide data is available here. 

The superintendent credited the district’s K-12 system for the successes in Brookfield, in part, as well as the district’s overall focus on “college and career readiness.” Calling the ACT the “gatekeeper to college,” he pointed out that 90 percent of the district’s students go on to attend four-year higher educational institutions.

Knowing this, the district has implemented a series of programs that help students prepare for the ACT and college careers, said Hansen. “We have instructional strategies deployed at both high schools,” he said.

This includes testing programs called EXPLORE and PLAN which allow students in 9th and 10th grades to take what are essentially “mini ACTs.”

“This helps provide them with formative feedback,” he said. “The district continues to raise expectations and to build a system that helps achieve those expectations and prepares kids for the pressures and demands of a global economy. It is rewarding to watch the continued growth in both high schools be sustained over time.”

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