Cost per student Mercer $20,146,
Wis. $12,942, Nation $10,667
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. schools

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


ACT Proficiency Results
For those who question comparing Mercer’s ACT scores to other schools, citing Mercer’s comparative small class sizes, the proficiency ratings may be more meaningful -- and the results also are not good. 

The 2018-19 ACT results for 10 students tested show that 7 were not proficient in ELA (English Language Arts), 9 were not proficient in mathematics and 8 were not proficient in science.  Or, put another way, 3 of the 10 were proficient in ELA, only 1 proficient in math, and 2 proficient in science.

To compare these results with the state results and to our neighboring high schools see the chart below.

In earlier ACT reports, (See MSF 9/28/19 More Bad News and 9/24/19 Mercer ACT Scores) Mercer ranked at or near the bottom with its ACT composite scores.  One argument has been that relatively small class sizes can influence the composite scores.  However, that is why percentages are used because they give an honest comparison regardless of school or class size.

The proficiency ratings have nothing to do with class size.  Instead they compare subject proficiencies of individual students within their own class.  Nevertheless, Mercer still trails the averages for the state and neighboring Lakeland and Hurley High Schools in all categories and in all years except in only one incident.

A pattern of low scores, as is the case with Mercer, indicates that something is amiss with school’s curriculum and with the management of the school. The new administrator and new school board have the opportunity to fix a broken system.


2018-19             ELA(1)                     MATH                       SCIENCE

                             Prof.    Not Prof.         Prof.     Not Prof.            Prof.      Not Prof.  

MERCER   10(2)       30.8%  69.2%              7.7%     92.3%                 15.4%    84.6%

  No. of Students((3)    3          7                       1            9                         2             8

STATE                        36.8     58.1                  29.2      65.8                     31.0       63.8

LAKELAND UHS       40.2     55.7                  33.3      62.6                     33.3       62.6

HURLEY                     23.8     71.4                  21.4      73.8                     26.2       69.0


MERCER  7((2)         27.3     72.7                   18.2     81.8                     18.2       81.8

  No. of Students(3)     2           5                        1           6                         1             6

STATE                        37.1     57.5                   34.5     60.3                     31.4       63.2

LAKELAND UHS       43.6     52.5                   42.0     54.1                     32.0       63.5

HURLEY                     32.6     67.4                   27.9     72.1                     34.9       65.1


MERCER  11(2)        12.5     87.5                  12.5      87.5                     12.5       87.5

  No. of Students(3)     1         10                       1         10                          1          10          

STATE                        39.5     56.4                  35.7      60.2                     31.7       64.2

LAKELAND UHS       38.9     56.7                  37.6      58.0                     30.6       65.0

HURLEY                     23.7     76.3                  21.1      78.9                     23.7       76.3
(1) English Language Arts (Combines English, reading and writing)
(2) Indicates number of students tested
(3) Student numbers rounded to the nearest whole number
PROFICIENCY LEVELS:  "Proficient" includes both Proficient and Advanced performance categories. "Not Proficient" includes both Basic and Below Basic performance categories which demonstrate some or little competency in academic knowledge and skills. (From DPI WISEdash Glossary)


  1. Seriously doubt will get any better— probably worse. No homework, kids roaming the halls, no real science teacher and classes unsupervised this year. Wild Wild West -

  2. Oh yes crazy year there- school to work jobs cutting grass, one staff member kid babysitting another ones kid?? How about learning from a local plumber/ electrician/ building contractor.—learn a real skilled trade because not much taught in trade room.

    1. If you go on the ACT scores, it appears as though not much is being taught in any class room. Perhaps this is more a failing of the leadership/school culture than any individual classroom teacher. I like to think most teachers try to play by the rules and do their best to educate in their subject area, but if they are not receiving proper support from the administration, it can unfortunately be very difficult.

  3. Please put us all out of our misery already. We all love our pets and our last act of live and kindness is the daunting decision to euthanize . Can we just close this school already and give our kids a fighting chance at a quality educational experience? Enough tip toeing across thin ice already.

  4. I agree with Tom!! What a soap opera at that school! I guess the parent don`t get it! Get your kids to a GOOD school and a good education!! A corrupt board and some teachers is what your settling for!!