Skandera defends education qualifications

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By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Public Education Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera is defending her experience in the education field after facing questions over whether she meets constitutional requirements for the job.

The New Mexico Constitution states that the leader of the Public Education Department must be a "qualified, experienced educator."

Skandera has never worked as a teacher or administrator in a public elementary or secondary school, but she says she volunteered for six years in middle and high school classrooms and has taught at the graduate level.

She also says she has a passion for education and a proven track record of leadership and implementation when it comes to "good change in education."

Skandera addressed the qualifications issue after talking Wednesday with a crowd of teachers, principals and parents during a statewide conference in Albuquerque.