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Ronald H. Lewis, who last spring withdrew his nomination for commissioner of education in New Jersey and later resigned his job as commissioner of basic education in Pennsylvania after he was accused of plagiarizing parts of his doctoral thesis, has been named headmaster of the YMCA Academy, a new, private elementary school that opened in Philadelphia last week.

The school will operate under the auspices of the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity. Its curriculum, designed by Mr. Lewis, will emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills as taught through such subjects as French, geometry, and philosophy.

Nineteen students at the Faith Christian School in Louisville, Neb., returned to school last week, and the Christian Law Association has asked a state judge to issue a temporary restraining order to keep the state from closing the school again.

But as of late last week, the school's founder, the Rev. Everett Sileven, continued to serve a four-month jail term for repeatedly defying the state's order that the school be closed down. (See Education Week, Sept. 15, 1982.)

Mr. Sileven, who has been fighting the state's attempt to regulate his school for over two years, believes that because the school is part of a church the state has no jurisdiction over it. Nebraska requires the certification of private schools and their teachers by the state.

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