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President Bush last week named a leading corporate executive to head a White House advisory panel on education.

Paul H. O'Neill, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Alcoa, will chair Mr. Bush's Education Policy Advisory Committee.

In announcing the unsalaried appointment at a ceremony honoring outstanding elementary-school principals, the President lauded Mr. O'Neill's efforts to "enhance the literacy of the work force" at Alcoa.

"I am confident that under his dedicated leadership, this committee will not be just one more advisory committee," Mr. Bush said.

The President announced his intention to form an advisory panel on education at a June meeting of the Business Roundtable.

A White House spokesman said last week that no other committee members had been named.

Mr. Bush said at the ceremony that the panel would include "leaders from business and labor, educators at every level, state and local officials, as well as representatives from the media."

Mr. O'Neill served on the staff of the Office of Management and Budget and as president of International Paper Company before assuming his posts at Alcoa in 1987.

The embattled William Barclay Allen is no longer chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the White House announced last week.

White House officials had signaled in March that President Bush wanted to replace Mr. Allen.

That suggestion came after Mr. Allen, a professor of government at Harvey Mudd College, had been reprimanded by his fellow commissioners for embroiling himself in a custody battle over a Native American girl.

More recently, he drew the ire of gay-rights groups when he gave a speech entitled "Blacks, Animals, and Homosexuals: What Is a Minority?'' to the California Coalition for Traditional Values.

A commission spokesman said Mr. Allen sent a letter to the White House last month resigning the chairman's post. The resignation was not officially accepted until last week.

The spokesman said Mr. Allen would continue to serve as a member of the panel. His term does not expire until 1992.

Virtually all schools are in compliance with the federal asbestos law, the Environmental Protection Agency has reported.

The agency said this month that 94 percent of all public school districts and private schools had been inspected for the cancer-causing substance and submitted management plans to state authorities by May 9, the latest date allowed under the law.

A total of 40 states had compliance rates that exceeded 90 percent. New Jersey had the lowest compliance rate, 76 percent.

Agency officials said they did not yet have enough information to determine if private-school compliance rates lagged behind those of public schools. When preliminary data were released earlier this year, the agency estimated that private schools were less likely to meet the deadline than public schools.

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