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Edward A. Curran, the former National Institute of Education director who sought the abolition of his agency and was asked to resign for his suggestion, apparently still knows how to find a good fight.

After leaving nie at the request of Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell in June 1982, Mr. Curran, the former headmaster at the National Cathedral School in Washington and a staunch supporter of President Reagan, landed a position as the Peace Corps's deputy director.

According to press reports, he has found it difficult to get along with his new boss, Loret M. Ruppe, the former Michigan chairman of Vice President George Bush's presidential campaign.

A spokesman for the Peace Corps confirmed last week that Ms. Ruppe stripped Mr. Curran of many of his duties; she then, on July 12, taped a conversation between herself and Mr. Curran--without his knowledge and in violation of agency policy.

The taping, agency sources told The Washington Post, was part of an attempt by Ms. Ruppe to trap Mr. Curran into making embarrassing or disloyal statements that could be used in an effort to convince the White House to support his dismissal.

But it was Mr. Curran's phone call to the White House that got results, the agency spokesman said. Ms. Ruppe was reprimanded--but not punished--for the taping and was told to return Mr. Curran to a more active role at the Peace Corps. The spokesman said neither official has plans to leave the agency.

Russian Reforms


Top American and Soviet officials share more than a sharp distrust for one another, it seems. A recent article in Pravda, the official Soviet daily, indicates that officials in the U.S.S.R. have discovered their own "rising tide of mediocrity" in the state school system and have initiated a massive reform effort that bears at least some resemblance to the one that has taken root here.

"The main idea is to undertake reforms in elementary and secondary education that will help us meet the requirements of modern times," said an official in the Soviet Embassy's press section last week.

"A new emphasis will be placed on the study of natural science and the development of professional skills," the official said. "We want to give children a better understanding of our society as a social system and help make it easier for them to pick careers."

Publication Termination


The Reagan Administration has decided to stop printing 70 Education Department publications as part of its ongoing effort to reduce government costs.

At a press conference earlier this month, Edwin Meese 3d, the presidential counselor, said that by eliminating 1,800 publications, the federal government will save $85 million annually.

Mr. Meese added that $31 million has been saved since the beginning of the Administration's campaign against waste, fraud, and abuse in 1981.--tt & tm

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