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Curran Forced Out as Director of N.I.E.

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Washington--The director of the National Institute of Education, the research agency of the Education Department, was removed from his post by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell last week.

Administration sources said the Secretary requested the resignation of Edward A. Curran, deeming him guilty of "insubordination" because Mr. Curran had written a letter to President Ronald Reagan advocating the abolition of the institute.

Favorite Project

The research institute is considered a favorite project of Secretary Bell, who has often stated that educational research is one of the most important components of the federal role in education.

The sources also cited philosophical differences between the two men. The Secretary, who is known as a moderate Republican, was said to be displeased with the direction the research institute was taking under the more conservative Mr. Curran.

Mr. Curran, a former headmaster of the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., is the author of a widely circulated research plan for the institute advocating that educational research emphasize a theme of "excellence and freedom"--a theme considered by some Administration officials to represent an attack on public education.

A special assistant to Mr. Curran, Lawrence Uzzell, was also asked to resign last week, the sources said.


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