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Commissioner of Education Ralph Turlington of Florida, who is credited with pressing plans to raise Florida's ranking among the states on measures of educational excellence, is rumored to be thinking of stepping down in 1986 rather than running for re-election to the top education post.

A spokesman for the commissioner, who has spent the last 11 of his 36 years in education as state chief, indicated that Mr. Turlington, 64, would announce his plans in the next few weeks. Declining to confirm that he would choose to retire, the spokesman suggested that the rumor was started by legislators "interested in making a run on the job."


Michael Leon, the actor who plays Pete Jannings on nbc's "Days of Our Lives" soap opera, is helping California's State Department of Education encourage life to imitate art. The Jannings character recently passed his General Educational Development equivalency test in the television show, and Mr. Leon is donating his time and poster image to education officials' campaign to generate interest in the ged among youthful dropouts.

nbc has made public-service announcements featuring Mr. Leon for the "Second-Chance It With Me" effort, and the actor has made speaking appearances around the state to promote it. Meanwhile, state officials have discovered just how appropriate their spokesman is: Mr. Leon is himself a dropout, says Kimberly A. Edwards, ged coordinator, and is currently studying to take the test.


Queen Loundmon, student-activities and career-guidance coordinator at Detroit's Mumford High School, said last week that she was exhausted but happy to report that Mumford has earned $10,000 in the last three weeks from the nationwide sale of "Mumford Phys. Ed. Dept." T-shirts.

The whole thing began, Ms. Loundmon said, early in January when the school's phones began ringing off their hooks with requests to buy copies of the shirt worn by the actor Eddie Murphy in the movie "Beverly Hills Cop," which premiered during the holidays. Although the calls were a surprise, she said, she immediately began making arrangements with her "reliable" supplier, School Sports Inc. of Southfield, Mich., to start turning out the burgundy-on-blue shirts.

The Detroit school board authorized the business venture, and Mumford officials are still negotiating over whether they will receive all, or just a part, of the profits. But Ms. Loundmon said she intends to keep filling orders "until all my customers are satisfied." National media attention, she added, is keeping business at "an extremely tiring" pace.

To receive a shirt, send a money order or certified check for $11.50 (includes postage) to Ms. Loundmon, Mumford High School, 17525 Wyoming Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48221.

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