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Monroe ACT scores top state average
MONROE - Monroe High School scored just under New Glarus High School for the highest average ACT college entrance scores in Green County this year, and Argyle High School had the top average ACT scores for Lafayette County.

According to the Wisconsin Information System for Education website, Monroe High School had an average composite score of 23, just under New Glarus High School's 23.1 out of a possible 36. In 2013, Monroe scored 22.6 and New Glarus scored 23. Argyle had an average composite score of 22.6 this year, up from 20.5 in 2013. The three schools' scores this year were above the state average of 22.2 and also topped the national average of 21.

Monroe School District Superintendent Cory Hirsbrunner said this year's scores were among the highest for the district in many years.

"We are focusing on high expectations and rigor to prepare each student to be successful after high school," she said.

Hirsbrunner said the ACT composite score is a good indicator for college readiness, and she feels the 2014 graduates are more than prepared for college.

"The work we are doing is paying off," she said. "Our teachers and students deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they're doing each day."

The average composite score of Green County's six high schools this year was 22.23, while Lafayette County came in at 21.23 for its seven high schools.

Albany High School scored a composite average score of 21 this year, down from 22.7 in 2013; Brodhead scored 21.2, up from 20.7 in 2013; Juda had 22.6, up from 21.5 in 2013; and Monticello had 22.5, up from 21.7 in 2013.

The average composite scores in Lafayette County were Belmont at 20 this year, down from 23.3 in 2013; Benton at 22.4, down from 23.3 in 2013; Black Hawk at 21, up from 20.5 in 2013; Pecatonica at 20.1, down from 21.9 in 2013; Shullsburg at 21, down from 21.5 in 2013; and Darlington at 21.5, down from 21.9 in 2013.

Argyle High School Superintendent and Principal Phil Updike said the 2014 graduating class was a strong academic class for his school.

"Just looking at our school environment, you can tell these kids are dedicated," Updike said.

Updike, who became superintendent in 2013, said the students and staff at Argyle High School have built a lot of good rapport.

"It's a partnership that has really worked," he said.

Nearly 75 percent of Wisconsin seniors took the exam this year and increased the state's average composite score by one-tenth of a point. Wisconsin ranks second behind Minnesota for highest average ACT scores in the U.S. The curriculum-based test measures students' readiness for the first year of college.

The ACT also sets minimum scores for students to achieve in math, science, reading and English in order for them to be successful during their initial year in college. One in five 2014 graduates in Wisconsin met none of the readiness benchmarks. But more than 50 percent of state graduates earned three or more ACT benchmark scores.

-The Associated Press contributed to this story.