Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy: 2021 Equity Innovator

Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy: 2021 Equity Innovator

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) is a public, magnet, residential high school concentrating its curriculum on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for students in grades 10-12. It was established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1985 and has since been considered the top standardized test performing secondary school in Illinois and one of the top nationally. Illinois students who meet the school’s admissions policies can attend. The Illinois General Assembly authorized IMSA to accept tuition-paying, non-Illinois students beginning the 2022-2023 academic year, as well as 9th graders to increase the school’s revenue and offset its reliance solely on state funding. 

IMSA sought TA for implementing the 2017 board approved Equity and Excellence Policy that signaled 7 key mandates the school was to engage. The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center provided the (IMSA with equity-focused professional learnings to build the capacity to advance educational equity. Through the Equity Context Analysis Process (ECAP) the MAP Center assisted IMSA in a data collection process that informed the development of the plan that operationalized IMSA’s Equity and Excellence Policy. This process included a data meaning-making session, which allowed IMSA to take an intricate look into the inequities that exist within the community, ultimately serving as the rationale for the sixteen Equity and Excellence Plan strategies. In addition, the MAP center provided resources to assist in both implementing and evaluating the plan.