Practical instrumentation for identifying low-income, minority, and ethnically diverse students for gifted and talented programs: The HOPE teacher rating Scale

Scott J Peters, Purdue University


This study involved the creation, development, and evaluation of the HOPE Scale, a 13-item teacher rating instrument to help educators identify students from traditionally underrepresented populations such as those from low-income, Hispanic, African American, or Native American families. Scale items related to academic and social components of giftedness and talent. To accomplish this goal, the HOPE Scale was completed by approximately 350 teachers on their respective 5995 students in the fall of 2007. Subsamples of these data were then analyzed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in order to determine the model that best fit the data. When these analyses were completed, the resulting model contained eight items on the Academic Scale, three items on the Social Scale, and two items were discarded. A Revised HOPE Scale was then created and administered by a new sample of 71 teachers on their respective 1700 students in the spring of 2008. A similar CFA was conducted which was followed by multi-group CFA (MCFA) procedures to evaluate across-group equivalence for gender, income, and racial/ethnic groups. The MCFA procedures indicated that differential item functioning was not present for income or racial/ethnic groups, but that some non-equivalence was present when comparing gender groups. The Revised HOPE Scale was also evaluated using multilevel modeling (MLM) to determine the effects of different predictor variables (income, gender, ethnicity/race) within the context of the classroom teacher as a clustering variable. These results indicated that low-income, African American, Asian, and Hispanic student status were all negative predictors of HOPE Scale subscores. However, each variable was only in the small range for effect size, indicating a relatively small influence on subscale score. In general, the HOPE Scale performed well for various gender, income, and ethnic/racial groups. Practitioners are cautioned to use local norms when making student comparisons as mean scores for certain groups (e.g., low-income students) are lower than for others. The creation of local, specific group norms will help educators better understand how certain students compare to others of similar background and experience.




Gentry, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements|Gifted Education|Educational psychology|Special education

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