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Jean Sullivan McKeigue is following a family tradition as she begins a one-year term as president of the Boston school committee.

The new president's older sister, Kathleen Sullivan Alioto, was a member of the school committee from 1975 through 1979 and president in 1977.

Ms. McKeigue, who has served on the committee for two years, was elected this month by a 3-2 vote over the incumbent, John D. O'Bryant.

Lloyd Kelley, Vermont's acting commissioner of education, will become the new superintendent of the Rutland public schools.

Mr. Kelley, a resident of Rutland, is to take over the 2,982-student system on May 1. In the interim, he will resume his former job as state director of adult education.

Mr. Kelley has served in the state's top education post since Robert A. Whitey resigned in July. Stephen S. Kaagan, appointed in November by the state board of education, will take over as commissioner next month.

John T. Casteen III, a dean and professor of English at the University of Virginia, has been appointed secretary of education in the cabinet of Virginia's governor-elect, Charles Robb.

In that position, Mr. Casteen will oversee not only the state's department of education, but also the commission for the arts, museums, libraries, community and state colleges, and the state school for the deaf and blind.

The new education secretary is said to be an advocate of upgrading high-school academic curricula in order to improve students' performance in college.

"Physics abounds with laws; that is why everyone takes the science seriously," writes Ross K. Baker in the January 1981 issue of American Demographics magazine. "By contrast, political science has no laws at all, and that is why people laugh at it.

"All sciences," concludes the writer, himself a political scientist at Rutgers University, "need laws."

In the interest of helping the science of demography "rise to dignity," Mr. Baker offers 10 laws. Among them:

"The First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors."

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