Hannah Colton

Interim News Director, Public Health Reporter

Currently serving as interim news director at KUNM, Hannah Colton covers education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She started at KUNM as a substitute news host in 2016, and worked as a freelance reporter and host for KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio and National Native News before joining KUNM full time in  2018. She's grateful to have gotten her start in radio at KDLG (another 89.9 FM) in Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/2 8a: Research shows that learning about one's own history and culture can keep students engaged and lead to better educational outcomes. A recent court ruling found New Mexico's Public Education Department is failing its Native American students, in part by not providing adequate culturally relevant materials. Did you have access to Native American Studies or classes taught in your Native language?

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools plans to open a new program next month for students who don’t speak English and have little to no prior formal schooling. But some say that program is set up for failure. Dozens of advocates and students gathered Monday evening in Albuquerque’s South Valley to call for more transparency and accountability in the way APS designs educational services for immigrant and refugee children.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 7/26 8a: A new chapter in the fight over educational equity in New Mexico has begun. On July 20, 2018, a judge ruled that the state has violated the rights of at-risk students by failing to provide an adequate education. We'll speak with advocates and lawmakers about what the landmark decision means. What does an adequate education mean to you? And how can the state provide it to all students? 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The state of New Mexico has violated students’ constitutional rights by failing to provide an adequate public education, according to a landmark decision handed down late Friday by a New Mexico District Court judge.

La Veu del País Valencià via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state court ruled Friday that New Mexico’s education system fails to provide an adequate education to at-risk students, as required by the state’s constitution. In her ruling, Judge Sarah Singleton outlined the harm done to economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. 

KUNM's Hannah Colton spoke with staff attorney Ernest Herrera of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who’s been working the case for years.

acme401 / Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

Fri. 7/6 8a: Peace Talks Radio: When we talk about music that promotes and celebrates peace, hip hop often gets left out of the conversation. Critics speculate about the genre's negative influences, from hypersexual music videos to lyrics that glamorize guns and drugs. A recent Washington Post headline quoted jazz musician Wynton Marsalis calling popular hip hop "more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee." But what about the positive impacts the music has had on countless fans? 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

People with intellectual disabilities experience sexual assault and abuse at an alarmingly high rate. Lawmakers in a handful of states across the U.S. have proposed ways to address the issue since an NPR investigation called attention to it in January. The Arc of New Mexico, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, isn’t waiting for state legislators to take action.

Steve Mundinger / Wikimedia Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/21 8a: Many New Mexicans don’t make enough money to comfortably pay rent or a mortgage, even while working a full-time job. What’s the housing situation for middle-to-low-income people in New Mexico? What’s being done to address a lack of affordable housing? We want to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s summer, and that means many teenagers are headed to jobs, internships, volunteering – places where they meet adults besides their parents and teachers. The interactions can turn into mentorships that enrich the lives of the teens and the adults. This kind of synergy is thriving at a special plot of land in Albuquerque’s South Valley.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Research shows that when students see their own culture and history reflected in their classwork, they do better in school. But most Hispanic and Latino students in New Mexico public schools don’t get that experience, at least not in the form of ethnic studies. Some schools have been experimenting with Mexican American and Chicano Studies classes to help kids succeed.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/14 8a:  Research shows when students learn about their own culture and history in school, it can keep them engaged, boost self-esteem, and improve academic performance. Some public schools offer Mexican-American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies courses to a small number of students, but most of New Mexico’s Hispanic and Latino students still don’t get that opportunity. Did you take classes like these? What did that mean for your educational experience? Are public schools in New Mexico doing enough to offer those types of classes? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It was a party-like atmosphere at the 98th and Central polling location on Tuesday afternoon. The line to vote stretched out the door. Groups of campaign volunteers waved signs, and at least two candidates were out shaking hands.

Salim Fadhley / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/3 8a: Having a baby is a dangerous prospect for many women in New Mexico. Many hospitals aren’t prepared to deal with life-threatening complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and not all women have access to quality prenatal care. Women of color are especially at risk. How can we ensure that all new and expectant mothers in our state get the care they need?

Rashad Mahmood/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/30 8a:  This fall’s sexual assault and harassment allegations against big names like Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose have sparked new scrutiny of sexual misconduct in the work world. We know women have faced similar behavior in New Mexico - from the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, maybe to your own office. This week we’ll start an ongoing series of conversations about addressing sexual misconduct and what the #MeToo movement means in our state.

Tweet the hashtag #letstalkNM, email letstalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton

Governor Susana Martinez this week promised that higher education will get its funding back in a special session she’ll call soon. That’s after university leaders called on her to restore nearly $750 million dollars she vetoed from next year’s proposed state budget. 

Hannah Colton

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera has been a champion of charter schools, but some lawmakers aren’t so sure. This session they proposed several reforms to New Mexico’s charter school system, which continues to be plagued by a lack of clarity and transparency at the state level.

Hannah Colton/KUNM

New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system has seen fierce pushback from teachers unions since it was created by Governor Susana Martinez’ administration back in 2012. It uses student testing for 50 percent of a teacher’s rating; the other half is based on classroom observations, attendance and other measures.

The usefulness of accountability systems like New Mexico’s is in doubt from multiple sides of the education reform debate.

Hannah Colton/KUNM

In January, Governor Susana Martinez signed off on a plan to use $46 million from public schools' cash reserves to fill part of this year’s budget gap.

Education spending in New Mexico still hasn’t recovered from the 2008 recession, and as oil and gas revenues continue to stagnate, schools are bracing for more cuts. 

Hannah Colton

Charter schools in New Mexico run the gamut – from National Blue Ribbon Schools, to several that have been closed due to mismanagement. Governor Susana Martinez joined a national campaign focusing on school choice this week.

Hannah Colton/KUNM

Two civil rights causes joined forces this weekend in Albuquerque as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march coincided with a national Day of Action for immigrants and refugees. Several hundred people gathered Saturday morning for the walk to Albuquerque Civic Plaza.

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