Ontario’s new Grade 9 math program puts emphasis on financial literacy

Update ends the practice of streaming into applied or academic paths

The Ministry of Education is taking steps to boost kids’ math scores with a new modernized course.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced a new Grade 9 math course on Wednesday that includes mandatory new learning on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling, with an emphasis on financial literacy. This new program comes as part of the province’s four-year mathematics strategy to ensure improved performance among students.

Lecce says this new program will better prepare students for life and work. “With an emphasis on real-world applications for mathematics, this course will teach students valuable fundamentals that will give them a competitive advantage when they graduate,” said Lecce. “With new math-focused learning supports and a new curriculum, our government is taking the first step toward ending early streaming in Ontario, while promoting equal opportunities for all students.”

This new course also ends the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied or academic courses, a practice that has disadvantaged some students in the past. The practice of streaming is said to have created an achievement gap and barriers for students from marginalized groups, such as Black, Indigenous, or low-income children. With this new program, all students will take the same math course in Grade 9.

This represents the first update to the province’s math courses since 2005.