Whitefish Bay ACT Scores are Highest in the Milwaukee Area

Superintendent Gavigan: Whitefish Bay High School has exceeded the 25.0 mark longer than any other public school district in southeastern Wisconsin.

(Editor's note: Kohler High School's average ACT score of 27.6 is the highest in the state, but only 26 of 29 students took the test. We originally reported Whitefish Bay's score was the highest in the state because Kohler's test scores were not available on the Department of Public Instruction website.)

Once again, Whitefish Bay's average ACT score is higher than any other public school in the Milwaukee area.

The 2012 graduates at scored an average ACT score of 25.9, with 82.9 percent of students participating in the testing, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

Kohler High School technically has the highest ACT scores in the state, with an average of 27.6 – but only 26 of 29 students took the test.

Other front-runners in the state include Brookfield East (25.8); Middleton (25.5); Cedarburg (25.2) and Homestead (25.2). The statewide average this year was 22.0.

Last year, Whitefish Bay students averaged an , which is the highest in school history and the second highest in Wisconsin's public school history.

Although the numbers were not quite as high as last year, Superintendent Mary Gavigan said she is still very pleased with the results.

Whitefish Bay's average ACT scores have consistently exceeded the 25.0 mark for 14 years, longer than any other public school district in southeastern Wisconsin, she said.

"Those results speak very well of our student accomplishments, our teaching staff, our parents and our entire school community," she said. "They reflect strong curriculum, strong parent support and a strong school community working together within a culture of high expectations."

"These outstanding ACT results reflect a culmination of an excellent K-12 education provided by Whitefish Bay schools," Gavigan added.

Here is a detailed look at ACT test score data from Whitefish Bay High School over the last five years:

Grad Year Students Tested English Reading Math Science Composite


175 26.1 25.9 26.0 24.7 25.9


191 27.0 26.4 26.7 25.9 26.6 2010 214 26.2 25.7 25.9 24.6 25.7 2009 192 26.6 26.0 26.5 25.0 26.1 2008 215 25.5 25.6 25.6 24.6



This is how Whitefish Bay compares to other high schools in the North Shore area:

School Average score Whitefish Bay 25.9 Homestead 25.2 Shorewood 24.4 Nicolet 24.9 Brown Deer 20.0 Wisconsin 22.0
Angela August 22, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Thank you to our amazing educators for helping us achieve this milestone!
Harry August 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Yes, that's nice that WFB has the state's highest scores.......but the big question: What's the % of students taking the test for each year group? Plus what's the % of graduating seniors going to college? I'm sure you'll find that our school district isn't full of water walkers......just sayin. I'm sure Marquette H.S. and U-School have a much higher % of those that go on to college.....
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
You're probably right Harry!
Marvin Mason August 22, 2012 at 04:49 PM
@Harry. This report concerns public schools, of which Univ School and Marq HS are not .
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM
good point Marv.
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM
would still be nice to know the % of students that took the ACT's vs. those not taking.......
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 05:18 PM
NObama.....if you want to look at it that way......I would focus more on the affluence of where those schools are located.......and not so much the color
Shawn Matson August 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Adolf, if you want to know more about the data, including the percentage taking the test, you should look at the DPI data. Do your homework - and don't expect someone to do it for you!
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Will do Shawn..........it's was more of a rhetorical statement for everyone else reading. You sound angry........
Harry August 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Yeah Shawn........you sound so angry!
Shawn Matson August 22, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I'm not sure how you extracted anger out of my comment. There was none, but there is a tendency for some comment and ask for things that are readily available to them. That's all. No offense meant.
Jeff Rumage August 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I'm unclear about what you're asking. In the second paragraph it states 82.9 percent of students participated in the ACT testing. Regarding your other question, private school test scores are not available through the state Department of Public Instruction.
Adolf Oliver Bush August 22, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Well Shawn, when you put it like this: "Do your homework - and don't expect someone to do it for you!".......sounds like you want to shove up someone's back-side with an exclamation point. Other than that, I'm sure you're a nice person.......no offense taken.
Harry August 22, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Adolf......don't be such a cry-baby!
Harry August 22, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Jeff.....my mistake....I just skimmed the numbers and didn't pay attention to detail. Good reporting! Or re-reporting!
aaaaaa August 22, 2012 at 07:51 PM
But our scores mean more because of the number of kids that take the test that didn't have to test to get into the WFB schools to begin with. There are special needs kids and others that probably bring the score down that private schools (who don't let these kids in) don't have. When you take that into account you can see just how impressive that score is. Have you ever seen what schools these kids get into??? (not matriculated to - often kids can't afford an expensive price tag but do get into Duke, Harvard and the like). In 2009 the top ten GOT INTO Duke, Harvard, Georgetown, Standford, Yale, Wisconsin, Wash U., Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Brown, Michigan....just to name a few schools. Color me impressed.
aaaaaa August 22, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Every year there are kids in the top ten who do not fit your profile of "White". Why is that such a concern for you? The school is wonderful for people of all colors. The percentage of white kids at the school doesn't mirror the village, btw.
Jeff Rumage August 22, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Great point, wfb51! Click here for last year's top 10 graduates and the college they plan to attend in the fall: http://whitefishbay.patch.com/articles/whitefish-bay-high-school-seniors-graduate-sunday
aaaaaa August 22, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Also, many of the "smart" kids take the SAT BC the ACT is used more often in the Midwest. A lot of the kids that go to schools out East take the SAT I and the SAT II tests.
aaaaaa August 22, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Remember - where the kids GO in the fall doesn't reflect where they got IN - like I said - price tags can be a problem.
aaaaaa August 23, 2012 at 02:44 AM
However - if you took out the scores of the special needs kids WFB would for sure beat Marquette and be around where USM is....
dills August 23, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Take out the chapter 220 kids and what will happen. ? Most of you think special needs kids take the ACT, but you have no idea. Why not ask Mary Gavigan , who believes in communication in the district, what the scores are by category. Ask your school board to provide this info
aaaaaa August 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I know kids with issues who took the ACT and went on to college.....
Lu August 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Makes you feel a bit better about scratching that big property tax check twice a year. Hats off to the WFB schols for providing an excellent education. I would also submit that another reason for the high scores in WFB is due to family and community support. Solve this for the Milwaukee school district and results will turn around dramatically.
Bob McBride August 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Still gonna have a problem with that property tax check, but yes, congrats to the kids, teachers and parents in the WFB school system.
Desiree Erickson August 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Good point Mr. Matson. We all should take personal responsibility for gathering the facts necessary to make informed decisions and remarks.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »