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Robert F. Alioto, superintendent of the San Francisco Public Schools from 1975 to 1985, died May 21 in a single-car crash on California's Highway 101 south of the city. Mr. Alioto's car apparently went out of control, swerving up an embankment and then back across the highway into oncoming traffic, where it hit a tractor trailer.

The 54-year-old Mr. Alioto had for the past three years been the director of the California School Leadership Academy in Haywood,which provides inservice training for local school administrators. In San Francisco, he had been an active, sometimes controversial, leader, who implemented a school-based management system before the concept gained wide attention.

School officials in San Francisco ordered flags at city schools lowered to half-mast in honor of the former superintendent. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig issued a statement calling Mr. Alioto "a valued friend and colleague'' who had made "a tremendous contribution to education at the local, state, and national levels.''

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