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Companion Guide

This Guide is a companion to the CPS Equity Framework and is designed to provide educators with practice-based ideas for advancing equity in our schools and district.

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The Companion Guide references Targeted Universalism (TU) in the CPS Equity Framework as a core approach to equity. As articulated by the Othering and Belonging Institute, this approach organizes members of a school community around a shared universal goal that all students must achieve.

It is rooted in the principles of the Equity Framework and references the Framework and its ideas and tools throughout. The Companion Guide serves as a resource for identifying high-impact change ideas—approaches, practices, and initiatives that have been used successfully by other educators in our district to create learning environments which better recognize and support the strengths and needs of all students. These change ideas, along with a tool for implementing change ideas, are intended to support educators in initiating innovation and change within their school and community-specific contexts to create more equitable environments, experiences, and outcomes for all students.


In early 2019, the Office of Equity assembled the Instructional Equity Working Group (IEWG), a cross-disciplinary task force of teachers, principals, school support organizations, researchers, and policy makers, developed this initial set of high-impact change ideas to share with our district community. The IEWG received critical feedback from students on the Change Ideas during development. Students also shared with the group their perspectives on their overall experience, needs, and aspirations which helped inform not only the Change Ideas themselves, but the entire Framework.

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Change Ideas

  • Change ideas are specific actions, initiatives, and strategies that can be implemented to transform or modify an experience, structure, or design to be more equitable in service of all students. The goal of a change idea is to eliminate the predictive power of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, biological gender, gender identity and expression, language, cultural heritage, tribal status, age, religion, and diverse learning needs on student outcomes by addressing the specific needs of students within a school or district.
  • Change ideas can be implemented at any level—classroom, school, district—and many change ideas, while implemented at a single level, have implications across other levels. This Companion Guide contains an initial set of change ideas for the classroom and school levels.

The published CPS Equity Companion Guide with High-Impact Change Ideas tested in Chicago's schools will be released soon.

This downloadable PDF includes the Equity Framework and interactive worksheets.

Download framework