Ontario says it will end streaming in Grade 9, a practice critics have called discriminatory towards racialized students.

According to reports, Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s office issued a statement saying students would no longer be asked to choose between the applied or academic stream when they start high school.

Streaming is a system in which students must choose to pursue either an “academic” or “applied” track when they begin high school — has been shown to disproportionately affect Black and low-income students when it comes to graduation rates and the chance of going to a post-secondary institution.

The government says school board statistics show the practice has meant Black and Indigenous students are streamed into the applied classes in higher numbers and are less likely to earn a diploma than other students.
In other news, the minister’s office says the government will no longer permit suspensions for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3.

Advocacy group People for Education, which urged the previous government to end the practice, applauded the move.

But there are fears that many students who would be better served taking applied will end up finding it hard to keep up in a regular classroom. This could have the unintended consequence of a higher dropout rate.

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