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ISBE is committed to equity – in our agency, in our board, in our school districts and classrooms. As we state in our Strategic Plan, “Illinois has an urgent and collective responsibility to achieve educational equity by ensuring that all policies, programs, and practices affirm the strengths that each and every child brings within their diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and by delivering the comprehensive supports, programs, and educational opportunities they need to succeed.”

Above all, the Strategic Plan offers this concise definition of these goals: “Equity means having high expectations for every learner and providing supports and resources so each learner can meet those expectations.”

The Plan recognizes that, to reach those goals, we will need both internal and external tools. Therefore, we have developed an equity impact analysis tool for agency staff to use to guide all decisions and communications, as well as a data-driven Equity Journey Continuum that each Illinois school district will use to support their equity journey.​

 Equity Journey Continuum (EJC)

Professional Development Tutorials

Please join ISBE and the Loyola University Chicago Institute for Racial Justice for the five professional development sessions to help school district administrators and educators understand and use the Equity Journey Continuum to improve outcomes for all students. We understand that you may not be able to join each session, and we will post the recordings and presentations here for your reference.

Equity is a journey. That journey will look different for each and every district.

The Equity Journey Continuum is an informational tool for districts to track their progress toward closing gaps in student achievement, opportunities, and supports. Through the lens of equity, the tool analyzes a continuum of district-level data points, already collected and reported to ISBE, to make that data more useful for improving outcomes for all students.

ISBE developed the tool using national research and examples from other states and refined the tool through a pilot with districts across Illinois. The equity elements included in the continuum are consistent statewide, measurable, and within each district’s control. These data points illustrate a district’s current progress in its equity journey — from Step 1 (large gaps) to Step 4 (minimal gaps) — in the three areas of ISBE’s strategic plan: student learning, learning conditions, and elevating educators.

The 2022 Illinois Report Card will publicly display a very high-level view of the Equity Journey Continuum: only the district’s step in each of the three broad categories of the continuum. School districts themselves have access to the full spectrum of data and analysis through the Data Review and Verification Tool.

Preview what the public display of the Equity Journey Continuum will look like on the 2022 Illinois Report Card​.​

The 2022 Equity Journey Continuum uses data from the 2018-19 school year (to account for disruptions in data due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years).

The goal of the Equity Journey Continuum is to empower school communities to make informed decisions about their district’s equity strengths, speak effectively about where to invest their equity efforts and reso​urces, and develop creative strategies for moving forward in their unique equity journey.​​

Frequently Asked Questions

Presentations & Webinars

Fact Sheets

 Equity Hero Flyers

 Equity Impact Analysis Tool (EIAT)

 Internal ISBE Book Study

Why a book study?

This book study aims for participant transformation rather than information.  Participants will make what they study not only something they understand, but something they use in their everyday lives or work. A book study group acts as a bridge, helping people move from passive to active learning. Collaboration among peers is a powerful experience. Shared expertise and opinions of others heighten the reading experience and, at the same time, deepens the insight and adds enduring value that informs our lives and our work.

Current Book: 

Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams by Stefanie K. Johnson

Equity Book Study Learning Objective:

According to the text, humans have two basic desires: -- to stand out and to fit in. Organizations respond to these desires by creating groups that tend to the extreme teams where everybody fits in and no one stands out, or where everybody stands out and no one fits in. Participants will explore how to find a happy medium in which team members can demonstrate their individuality while also feeling they belong.

Book study participants will examine what it means to  "inclusify." Inclusifying – unlike including or diversifying – implies a continuous, sustained effort toward helping diverse teams feel engaged, empowered, accepted, and valued.  Participants will learn transformative leadership skills that make it possible for all ISBE employees to build stronger relationships that create a more positive environment for everyone, both in the agency and the field.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the leadership skills and common archetypes that bring about different perspectives while enhancing team cohesion.
  2. Develop strategies for fostering a more inclusive organization and more inclusive teams.
  3. Identify who is and is not “at the table" when decisions are made, and how you will move toward more inclusivity as you learn and discover new things from the book study.
  4. Apply the Equity Impact Analysis Tool to the programs/projects/policies/practices in your department/center using knowledge gained from "Inclusify." ​

 ISBE Equity Project Portfolio 2022

The ISBE Equity Project Portfolio​PDF Document is a tool the agency has developed to keep a historical record of past internal projects that intentionally operationalize and embed equity, as well as keep track of current, ongoing equity projects across the agency.​​

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