Press and Media

Read About Our Accomplishments, Awards, and More

Questar Assessment’s Dr. Katie McClarty
Awarded the 2015 GCQ Paper of the Year


Location: Minneapolis, MN

Date: November 7, 2016

Questar Assessment Inc., a K—12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between learning and accountability, announced today that its Chief Assessment Officer, Katie McClarty, Ph.D., received the award for the 2015 GCQ Paper of the Year for her article, “Life in the Fast Lane: Effects of Early Grade Acceleration on High School and College Outcomes.” She received her award at the 63rd Annual NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Conference’s Celebration of Excellence in Orlando, Florida.

The GCQ Paper of the Year is given to the author or authors of a paper published in Gifted Child Quarterly that the Editor and members of the Publications Committee believe best exemplifies high standards of scholarship in research, theory, or practice in gifted education.

Dr. McClarty’s paper expands on existing research that has repeatedly demonstrated the positive effects of acceleration for gifted and talented students, by evaluating the effects of early grade skipping on high school and college outcomes and the role post-acceleration opportunities played in these students’ subsequent performance. Using a representative national sample, Dr. McClarty compared accelerated students with older grade-level peers with similar academic and demographic backgrounds. Her results suggest that, on average, accelerated students consistently and significantly outperform their nonaccelerated peers in high school and college. Further, she found that students who skipped a grade and also participated in challenging academic programs, like Advanced Placement, demonstrated particularly high achievement. Her results suggest that gifted learners benefit most when grade skipping is coupled with additional opportunities for advanced study.

As Questar Assessment’s chief assessment officer, Dr. McClarty leads the Assessment Services division and oversees item development, test design and development, psychometrics, publishing, and assessment and training support for Questar’s staff and clients, while guiding design and development of testing programs. Widely published in the educational assessment academic community, she is the recipient of the 2013 Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research for her work on college and career readiness, and she is also editing a book on college and career readiness to be published in 2017. Dr. McClarty maintains memberships in professional organizations such as the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association for Gifted Children, the National Council on Measurement in Education, and the World Council for Talented and Gifted Children.

“Katie has brought exceptional vision, strategy, and execution to our assessement design, development, and measurement teams, and a unique perspective to Questar’s commitment of making assessment and data more meaningful to educators, parents, and students,” said Jamie Post Candee, Questar’s president and chief executive officer. “We are so proud to have GCQ recognize the significance of her research and honor her with their Paper of the Year award.”

About Questar Assessment Inc.

Questar Assessment Inc. is a K–12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between learning and accountability. We take a fresh and innovative approach to meaningful assessment design, delivery, scoring, analysis, and reporting. And we are reimagining how assessments can empower educators by giving them the insights they need to improve instruction and fully prepare students for college or career. Our high-quality, reliable assessment products and services are easily scaled and tailored to meet the specific needs of states and districts at an unprecedented value. Educators trust our high-performing teams and dependable technology to minimize risks and ensure success for states, districts, schools, and students. Questar is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be reached at or 952-997-2700.