The Ford government has quietly deleted a section of Ontario’s grade 9 math curriculum, which taught students a “decolonial” and “anti-racist” approach to mathematics.
While the government originally defended the new curriculum, Education Minister Stephen Lecce instructed officials to remove the section on “anti-racism,” according to the Toronto Sun.
The curriculum was revised late Tuesday.
The original document caught the attention of Ontarians due to its new approach to mathematics, which the government argued was needed to combat the field’s inherent white supremacy.
“Mathematics has been used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges, and a decolonial, anti-racist approach to mathematics education makes visible its historical roots and social constructions,” the original document read.
“The Ontario Grade 9 mathematics curriculum emphasizes the need to recognize and challenge systems of power and privilege, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to eliminate systemic barriers and to serve students belonging to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and underserved in mathematics education.”
Changes to Ontario’s math curriculum were announced last year by Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
The government previously said the new curriculum will bring early math streaming to an end, a practice that the government claimed created barriers for racialized and marginalized groups.
While news of the revised curriculum is welcomed by many Ontario parents and students, Ontario’s NDP criticized the government for its decision.
“The Grade 9 math program was changed specifically because Ontario had to finally recognize that the existing system treats Black, Indigenous and racialized students inequitably,” NDP Education critic Marit Stiles and Anti-Racism critic Laura Mae Lindo said in a joint statement.
“It’s pretty clear we need more of an equity and anti-racism lens in schools, not less.”