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Voices Behind The Vote: Who's Talking About Education?


Neither major party presidential candidate has made public education a central theme of their campaign in this year’s election. Still, some voters in New Mexico see education as one of the most important issues in our country.

One of those voters is John Sena, a teacher at Española Valley High School. 

"I feel like we do some talking about the issues without a full understanding of what that means on the ground," Sena said. Things like teacher evaluations might sound like good policies, Sena said, but they can end up being counterproductive.

"What would be really nice is if politicians, from the bottom up, do a better job of communicating with schools, teachers and families" before putting these policies in place, he said.

Sena is casting his vote for Hillary Clinton. But he says he's frustrated that the candidates haven't focused more on education.

"Everything in our country is impacted by the way our education system works," Sena said. But there are problems with funding, teacher retention and support for students that don't factor in to the political discourse enough for Sena.

"Unfortunately those conversations don't take place," he said, "especially in the general election. A lot of us who work in schools are frustrated that the things that affect us on a day-to-day basis are never talked about."


KUNM's Public Health New Mexico Project is funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation. Find out more at publichealthnm.org.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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