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The Education Department's chief college financial-aid official, Edward M. Elmendorf, has been promoted by President Reagan to the position of assistant secretary for postsecondary education.

Mr. Elmendorf, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, has been serving as deputy assistant secretary for student financial assistance since August 1981. Previously, he was president of Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt., from 1974-80.

In the new position, he replaces Thomas P. Melady, who is leaving the department to return to his post as president of Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Conn.

The Justice Department has refused to comply with a federal district judge's order to turn over White House and Defense Department documents to defense attorneys representing a 21-year-old draft-registration evader from Pasadena, increasing the likelihood that their case against him will be dismissed.

The federal attorneys also said that Presidential counselor Edwin Meese 3d would not testify in the trial of David A. Wayte, as ordered by U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter.

Mr. Wayte's attorneys have argued that their client's case should be dismissed because the federal government unfairly singled him out for prosecution because he is a vocal opponent of the two-year-old draft-registration law. They have also said that the federal documents in question and Mr. Meese's testimony would bear out their contention. If the case against Mr. Wayte is dismissed, attorneys representing young men in similar cases could ask to have charges against them dropped.

Students who want to put their stamp on history have only two more weeks to enter the Student Stamp Design Project sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.

The project marks the first time that the Postal Service has solicited stamp designs from students. Many other nations already have stamps that were created by schoolchildren, according to Jeanne O'Neill, media- relations officer for the agency.

The response to the contest has been large and enthusiastic, Ms. O'Neill said, and the federal agency expects to get as many as one million entries before the deadline of Nov. 30.

"We're beginning to get a trickle of entries, but we're prepared for an avalanche," Ms. O'Neill said. The entries must be 4 by 7 inches in size, and may be drawn in crayon, pen and ink, pencil, oils, or watercolors. On the back, students should write their name and grade, their teacher's name, and the name and address of the school. The entries may be taken to any local postmaster, who will package them and forward them to Washington at no expense.

The entries received so far suggest that the judges will have a hard time deciding on the winner. The subjects range from rainbows to wildlife to history. One child submitted an entry of a tall, crooked building with the caption, "the crazy tower of pizza." Another child drew stick figures of a horse, whose rider was waving his arms above his head. "Two arms, two arms, the British are coming!" the caption read.

Another child wrote that his notion of an ideal stamp would be one that had a snake on it. "Some day I'd like to have a snake but my mom don't feel the way I do," he wrote.

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