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Ellis E. Meredith, named this month to be executive director of the American Vocational Association, will not assume the post after all. He and the association say they were unable to agree on contract terms and have terminated negotiations "by mutual consent."

According to Rosemary Kolde, president of the ava, association officials were concerned about the amount of time Mr. Meredith, who serves on the boards of four corporations, would be able to devote to the job.

Dean Griffin, assistant executive director for government relations, will continue to serve as acting executive director while the association resumes its search for an executive director.


Utah, the state with the nation's highest birth rate and lowest per-pupil expenditure for education, "needs to get [its] priorities in order and respond to the school-reform movement," former Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell told students at Utah State University this month.

Mr. Bell, a professor of educational administration at the University of Utah, said the state's schools are "starving for funding."

"We need to make up our minds to sacrifice," Mr. Bell said. "We can't have such a high birth rate--two times the national average--and not provide for them."

The former Cabinet member, whose moderate views sometimes rankled President Reagan's conservative supporters, also said the Congress should reject the President's plan to eliminate the federal income-tax deduction for state and local taxes. "We shouldn't pay taxes on top of taxes," he said.


Robert L. Brunelle, New Hampshire's commissioner of education, says he will resign to work full time on a new instructional-improvement program funded earlier this year by the state legislature.

Mr. Brunelle, 61, was appointed commissioner in 1976 by the state board of education. He will continue to serve until the board finds a replacement, which it hopes to do by April 1, according to Neal Andrew, the deputy commissioner.

As the executive director of Gov. John H. Sununu's "Initiative for Excellence in Education," Mr. Brunelle will be employed by the office of state planning and will work out of the Governor's office, Mr. Andrew said.

The initiative, for which the legislature has appropriated $5 million, calls for the development of programs that use computers to improve teaching, apply technology to improve educational opportunities, and teach gifted and talented children.

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