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About the Framework

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The CPS Equity Framework holds three essential questions
at its core:

  1. Even with our best efforts and intentions, why do differences in achievement, educational experiences, and outcomes persist for some student groups?
  2. Each individual has a role in the system. What can each of us do to advance equity in Chicago Public Schools?
  3. How can we increase transparency and engagement, resulting in better, sustainable outcomes and productive relationships?

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The CPS Equity Framework is the product of:

  • Extensive and ongoing dialogue with students, parents, caregivers, and educators; numerous school visits; and active participation in CPS steering committees.
  • Reviewing current research on equity and inequity in schools, districts, cities, and levels of government.
  • Collaboration with the Building Equitable Learning Environment (BELE) Network.


It is our shared responsibility to ensure every student in every neighborhood in Chicago has access to a high-quality educational institution. Equality is giving every student the same tools and support, which may not respond to students’ individual needs. Equity is equipping every CPS student and school community with the tools and supports each needs to be successful. To achieve equity in our district, we must take a targeted approach to eliminating racialized outcomes caused by structural racism*. The Equity Framework grounds us in the values and structures essential to doing the transformative personal, relational, and institutional work necessary to create more equitable learning experiences and outcomes.

Our shared goal is to give every student what they need to move forward. By 2024, through ongoing transformation, we will have narrowed opportunity gaps for our students, particularly for our young men of color—who are furthest away from opportunity.


To achieve equitable outcomes, we must have shared language, tools, and accountability for supporting our students and communities. Focused on our students most impacted by inequity, the CPS Equity Framework will guide our school district toward providing every youth with a great education that is grounded in the CPS Vision.


Because racial and educational equity require processes, initiatives, and outcomes, the Equity Framework is designed to serve as a starting point to create meaningful and impactful change in our district, schools, and communities.

Action Roadmap

The purpose of the Roadmap is to help you navigate the CPS Equity Framework and Companion Guide to transform practices to eliminate inequities.

The equity curve graph. In section one, ask the following questions: What's on your mind? What are you trying to change, improve or solve? What are your Targeted Universal Goals? Within section 2, unpack the current situation Within section 3, you must identify the equity challenge. This leads us to the companion guide, which is to design and change ideas. This leads us to implementing a high impact hanged idea. All of this circles back to the start, with the ideas of celebrating, monitoring and revising constantly being utilized to improve oneself.

When leading and designing change for equity, we must take into account how students and adults are situated differently towards the universal goals. (Targeted Universalism).

The equity lens helps us to unpack the current situation to identify the equity challenge that we must solve/mitigate to help all students—especially those furthest away from opportunity—meet the universal goals.

We can then apply the equity lens (again) to design and implement change ideas that transform adult practices and student experiences in schools to improve student outcomes.

Thank you to members of the Instructional Equity Working Group for designing and documenting the implementation of change ideas during the 2019–2020 school year. We look forward to sharing our progress.

When we are working in equitable ways and making progress on equity:

We acknowledge and account for past and current inequities, and we provide all people the infrastructure needed to thrive.

We prioritize people of color and other groups in the decision-making process who have been historically marginalized or are negatively impacted by recent events related to racial injustice.

We believe everyone benefits from a more just, equitable system.

This downloadable PDF includes the Equity Framework and interactive worksheets.

Download framework