The province will ditch streaming for students in Grade 9

Classroom

There are big changes coming to Ontario schools.

The provincial government is planning to put an end to streaming in Grade 9.

Currently, students are put into academic (university-track) courses or applied courses which are more hands-on.

Data has shown that black, Indigenous and low-income students are more likely to be enrolled in applied courses.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, Education Minister Stephen Lecce called it one of the few, "systemic, racist, discriminatory" practices in schools.

School board statistics show students in applied classes are four and a half times more likely not to earn a diploma. Advocacy group People for Education found students who take Grade 9 applied math have almost no chance of going to university.

The province is also planning to ban suspensions for younger students in elementary school and toughen the rules to make sure teachers who make racist comments are held accountable.