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The Senate last month confirmed the nominations of Wendell L. Willkie 2nd as the Education Department's general counsel and Bruce Carnes as its deputy undersecretary for planning, budget, and evaluation. Both confirmations had been widely expected.

The Senate last month also confirmed by voice vote the nomination of Anne Graham, the department's assistant secretary for legislation and public affairs, to a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ms. Graham's nomination had been held up for months, largely as a result of accusations that the department's Publication and Audiovisual Council (pavac), which she headed, had censored the work of the department's educational research laboratories.

Secretary of Education William J. Bennett has not named a replacement for Ms. Graham. He is said to be considering the abolition of her position as part of a departmental reorganization.

Mr. Willkie, who has been serving as Mr. Bennett's chief of staff since March, was general counsel of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982 to 1984 during Mr. Bennett's tenure as chairman. He succeeds Maureen Corcoran as the department's chief legal officer and will be replaced as chief of staff by William Kristol.

Mr. Carnes, who also came to the department from neh, where he served as an aide to Mr. Bennett, fills a position that opened following Gary L. Bauer's promotion to undersecretary of education.


The Education Department is mounting a campaign involving posters, public-service announcements, and print advertising to pro-mote "Presidential Academic Fitness" awards.

The awards were initiated two years ago to encourage and reward students at all grade levels who meet criteria for academic excellence.

Students, who are nominated by their principals, must have a B-plus average and score in the 80th percentile on any nationally recognized standardized test. Last year, more than 760,000 students received the awards--a lapel pin and a certificate.

To expand awareness of the program this year, the department will mail to all public and private schools posters with the slogan, "Look Where Your Mind Can Lead You."

It has also prepared public-service advertisements for newspapers and magazines and a series of public-service announcements for radio and television that feature President Reagan, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, and Sally Ride, the astronaut.

Order forms for the awards will be sent to schools next month, a department spokesman said, and the winners will be announced in June or July.

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