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Ontario effort to scrap streaming begins with math courses in 2021: Lecce

The Ontario government’s effort to do away with streaming for Grade 9 students will begin with one course starting next fall.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province’s math curriculum will be the first to be de-streamed as of September 2021.

He did not indicate if or when other subjects would follow, but said the province is being guided by a recommendation from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development suggesting streaming be pushed back to grades 10 or 11.

The practice, which currently sees Grade 9 students choose an academic or applied course of study for their entire high school career, has long been criticized as discriminatory.

Research shows students from racialized communities, low-income households and other marginalized groups are more likely to be steered away from academic courses, which in turn affects everything from graduation rates to employment prospects later in life.

The Progressive Conservative government acknowledged as much in announcing the plan to tackle streaming, saying the move is meant to create a more equitable education system.