BHCS Students Excel in New Iowa Exams

Our Students Score Higher than Iowa Schools
Posted on 12/14/2019
Students in grades 3 -11 at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools scored substantially higher than students in the state of Iowa on new achievement tests that replace the former Iowa Assessments. 

All students -- public and private -- were ranked as advanced, proficient and not yet proficient. The average difference between BHCS and all other schools in Iowa for advanced proficient is 19 points.

BHCS students took the new tests, the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), last spring -- the first time BHCS students tested at the same time as public schools -- providing a direct comparison. Parents will receive a state report for their students. 

Third Grade Test Result Examples 
--In Math: 92% of BHCS students were proficient, compared to 71% in Iowa. 
--In English Language Arts: 91% of BHCS students were proficient, compared to 65% in Iowa. 

High School Test Result Examples
--In English Language Arts: 97% of Heelan students were proficient compared to 74% in Iowa 
--Science: 82% of Heelan students were proficient compared to 65% in Iowa.
--See full table of scores below. 

The BHCS test results are significant for Heelan system parents who invest in their child’s education, according to Dr. John Flanery, BHCS president. 

“We’re excited about our students’ test results,” says Flanery. “Our results confirm that our teachers, staff and parents work together to offer an outstanding education in our faith-based curriculum to our diverse body of students.” 

BHCS students represent a wide variety of socioeconomic groups and come from over 20 urban and rural communities, says Flanery. 
“It’s important to note that the achievement tests show an apples-to-apples comparison with schools in the state of Iowa, which includes schools in Siouxland,” he says. 

Iowa Code requires all public and private school districts report assessment results for all students, says Jenny Pattee, curriculum specialist. The ISASP aligns to more challenging academic standards and more accurately measures progress than previous state tests. 

“Giving our students a strong education prepares them for learning in postsecondary education and the workforce,” Flanery says. “It shows the lifetime advantage our schools provide to every student.”