This week on New Mexico in Focus, New Mexico United CEO and President Peter Trevisani stops by our studio for a one-on-one interview. In partnership with alternative newsweekly 'The Paper.,' editor Andy Lyman asks Trevisani about the Albuquerque City Council's 7-2 vote this month approving a lease for a new soccer stadium for the team — which comes after voters denied the initial idea in 2021. 

The state Public Education Department wants to expand school calendars, increasing the number of instructional days required for students statewide. This proposal comes months after the Legislature passed House Bill 130, which increased education funding, in large part to accommodate an increase in required instruction hours — bumping those up to 1,140. Those hours included professional development time for teachers. This new rule would change the measuring stick to days — increasing the mandate from 176 to 180 and requiring every one of those 1,140 hours be spent in the classroom with students. 

Earlier this month, music teacher Kevin Darrow joined a number of Santa Fe public school teachers who spoke out against PED's change. In a solo interview with Senior Producer Lou DiVizio, Darrow says that adding more time in the classroom is not the right solution to our state's education problems. 

Then, Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein and state Rep. Joy Garratt, an Albuquerque Democrat and former teacher, continue the conversation in our studio. They’re concerned about the department’s proposed change. DiVizio asks the two what the disconnect is between the Public Education Department and a growing number of upset teachers, parents, elected officials and administrators. 

For New Mexico Poet Laureate Lauren Camp, poetry is a way to “build empathy.” In conversation with Our Land Senior Producer Laura Paskus, Camp talks about her new book and a project that brings “epic poetry” to communities across the state. She also reads from her new book, “Worn Smooth Between Devourings” and talks about why poetry matters, especially during times of crisis.   

 NMiF airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 7 a.m., and streaming on the PBS video app.   

NMiF Segments  

NM United's Peter Trevisani on New Stadium 
Andy Lyman, editor, The Paper. 

Peter Trevisani, CEO and President, New Mexico United 

Santa Fe Music Teacher Questions PED Calendar Change Proposal 
Lou DiVizio 

Kevin Darrow, music teacher, Wood Gormley Elementary School 

State Rep., Teachers Union President on PED Calendar Change Proposal 
Lou DiVizio 

Rep. Joy Garratt, (D) District 29, Bernalillo County 
Ellen Bernstein, President, Albuquerque Teachers Federation 

Poetry As a Way To ‘Build Empathy’ 
Laura Paskus 

Lauren Camp, New Mexico Poet Laureate 

Lou DiVizio 

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the "news of the moment.

NMPBS Executive Producer, Public Affairs, is Jeff Proctor. New Mexico in Focus's senior producer for public affairs is Lou DiVizio. “Our Land” Senior Producer is Laura Paskus. The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Antonio Sanchez, and Co-producer is Kathy Wimmer.

Funding for New Mexico in Focus is provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation and Viewers Like You.

Funding for the Your New Mexico Government Project comes from the Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund.

Funding for Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present & Future is provided in part by the Neeper Natural History Programming Fund for KNME-TV.