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Gerald N. Tirozzi, Connecticut's education commissioner, is going back to school this year--as a teacher.

Mr. Tirozzi, a former science teacher and guidance counselor, plans to teach at least one class in an elementary school, a junior high or middle school, a senior high school, and an extended-day kindergarten. Although participating schools have not been determined, the commissioner wants to visit an urban, a rural, and a suburban district.

In returning to the classroom, the commissioner intends to reacquaint himself with his "clients"--the state's students, according to Lise S. Heintz, an education department spokesman. Mr. Tirozzi has said he hopes his stint at the blackboard will send a message to high-school students that teaching is a career worth considering.

A New York State assemblyman is waging a two-pronged attack to allow high-school girls to play football on school teams.

Nicholas A. Spano, a Yonkers Republican, wrote to the state education department Aug. 27, reiterat-ing a request he first made last March for a change in a state regulation that bars girls from participating with boys in contact sports. He is also hoping to resurrect a bill that he introduced last March, only to see it languish in the Assembly's education committee.

Mr. Spano said he first became interested in the issue last spring following a plea from Jacqueline Lantz, a Yonkers high-school student. He renewed his campaign after hearing of the success of Elizabeth Balsley, who recently won the right to play on her North Hunterdon, N.J., high-school football team.

A number of other would-be girl gridders have contacted him recently, Mr. Spano said. "A lot of girls are saying that they want the opportunity to play," he noted. "It's not necessarily that they want to play, but they want that option."

The Illinois State Board of Education has approved a 32.5 percent salary hike for Ted Sanders, who has been the state's superintendent of education since January.

The change brought Mr. Sanders' salary to $90,000 from $67,900.

Walter W. Naumer Jr., chairman of the state board, said the raise was intended to reward the chief's work in developing the state's education-reform package and to make his salary level competitive with those of other education officials in Illinois. The legislature approved the reform package in July.

According to the Council of Chief State School Officers, the highest salary paid to one of the 50 state chiefs is $106,000; the lowest is $37,500. The average salary is $59,866.

Mr. Sanders came to Illinois from the state chief's post in Nevada.

The chief state school officer in Massachusetts, John H. Lawson, has announced that he will resign next April to accept a professorship at the University of New Hampshire.

Mr. Lawson, 62, has served as education commissioner since 1982. Before that, he served for 26 years as a district superintendent, including six years in Lexington, Mass.

In his resignation letter to the state board, Mr. Lawson noted that his leaving coincided with the passage of a state education-reform bill and the withdrawal of U.S. District Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. from the day-to-day operations of the Boston public schools. "It seems to me to be an appropriate time to shift gears," he wrote.

The state board, which chooses the commissioner, has yet to announce plans for seeking a successor.

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