The Madison Metropolitan School District defines “Targeted Universalism” as: an approach for achieving equity that sets universal goals for all students and identifies targeted means and processes for specific populations depending on how they are situated to opportunity. This approach recognizes that the DISTRICT must respond with necessary resources and multiple paths needed for different school communities and students to thrive (Policy 9001). 

“Universal policies assume a universal norm…..Treating people who are situated differently as if they were the same can result in much greater inequities. Targeting within universalism means identifying a problem, particularly one suffered by marginalized people, proposing a solution and then broadening its scope to cover as many people as possible. Targeted universalism recognizes that problems faced by particular segments of American society are problems that could spill over into the lives of everyone…Targeting within universalism means being proactive and goal-oriented about achievable outcomes.” – John Powell, Stephen Menendian & Jason Reece – March/April 2009 issue of Poverty & Race.