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To the Editor:
I am writing in rebuttal to Adam Raider’s letter regarding the 20th district race. He disparaged Anastasia Yopp, Republican candidate, for not being factual on important election issues. But he is the one who got the facts wrong.
He said Ms. Yopp was under the “misconception” that social and emotional learning was taught at the expense of reading, arithmetic, etc. However at the September 6, 2022 BOE meeting Paul Vicinus’ named several “critical areas of focus” for the year, including to “Promote social and emotional learning into all facets of instruction.” This means that in addition to teaching SEL during advisory, it will be embedded in reading, arithmetic etc. distracting from these subjects. Ms. Yopp’s statements reflect the concern of many parents about expanding SEL.
The Smarter Balanced 2021-22 scores across town are lower than the pre-pandemic year 2019. English: 66.7% were at or above mastery vs. 70.3 % in 2019 . For Math 58.1% of students were at or above mastery vs. 62.2% in 2019. These numbers bear out parents’ concern about pandemic learning loss, and about any time being taken from academics. Mr. Raider appears to be the one out of touch with parent priorities, not Ms. Yopp.
Mr. Raider berated Ms. Yopp for saying some curriculum is determined by the state legislature. However in Connecticut the legislature does have the power to direct or recommend curriculum. In Public Act 21-2 Sec. 374 the legislature directed “Not later than January 1, 2023, a) the Department of Education, shall develop a model curriculum grade kindergarten to grade eight…that may be used by local and regional boards of education. (b) The content of the model curriculum shall. … (3) Include …. at least the following B) Native American studies, … D) gender identity studies etc.. “
Mr. Raider said Ms. Yopp spread misinformation and that it is “patently false” that a minor can receive mental health treatment (excluding medication) without parental permission. But according to CT general statute 19a-14c if the social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist is licensed and the minor requests treatment, the minor can be treated without parental consent
There is a lot more going on in the 20th district than a focus on abortion rights, which remain unthreatened in Connecticut. As the issues above indicate, there is plenty of work to do. Vote for the candidate who is looking at all the issues, Anastasia Yopp.