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California's former state superintendent, Wilson C. Riles, has criticized the state's massive education-reform measure, saying the programs it calls for have little chance of success because they are inadequately funded.

Mr. Riles, who lost his elected position to Bill Honig last year, said in a recent interview that many of the reforms contained in the Hughes-Hart Education Reform Act of 1983, the omnibus bill passed by the state legislature last summer, are "gimmicks" designed to justify spending an additional $800 million on the states' school districts after years of budget cuts.

"We all want educational quality," Mr. Riles said, "but instead of this rhetoric and pointing blame, the leadership must develop a consensus on what we want to do and fund it, otherwise we will not accom-plish anything and two or three years down the road we'll go through the same cycle again."

"There's little continuity in what we have discovered in education,'' Mr. Riles added. "If physicians followed the same pattern that we followed in the schools, they'd still be back doing sorcery."

Mr. Riles now runs a consulting firm in Sacramento.


Frank W. Epperson, inventor of the Popsicle, died last month in Fremont, Calif., at the age of 89.

Mr. Epperson created the first frozen treat at age 11 when he placed a stick in a glass of soda-water powder and water and left it on his porch one cold winter night in 1905.

It was not until 1922, however, that Mr. Epperson, a real-estate investor, introduced his invention to the public at a fireman's ball. By 1924, he had patented the frozen confection, which he called an "Epsicle." The Popsicle Corporation bought his patent in 1929.

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