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Federal File: Chapter 1 Plaudits; Protecting Quayle

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To mark the 25th anniversary of the Chapter 1 compensatory-education program, the Education Department kicked off a two-day celebration last week by giving plaques to 37 educators who have worked on the program since its inception.

The next day, participants in a ceremonial hearing held by the House Education and Labor Committee competed to see who could heap the warmest praise on the program and on each other.

A former Republican representative and his former education aide joined in, while acknowledging that the gop hadn't exactly aided passage of what was then Title I in 1965.

Albert H. Quie, a former Governor of Minnesota who was then the ranking Republican on the House panel, did not mention that he led a fight two years later to fold Title I into a block grant. Neither did anyone else.

And other Republicans were lauded for their efforts in opposing the Reagan Administration's block-grant plans in 1981.

"The Republicans were slow learners, but they caught up very quickly," remarked Representative Augustus F. Hawkins, the California Democrat who is the education panel's chairman.

Several witnesses and most of the committee members present took the opportunity to praise the career of Mr. Hawkins, who is retiring this year.

Ruby Martin, an aide to Gov. L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia and the co-author of a critical report on Chapter 1 in 1969, told of a dinner with Mr. Hawkins the day before a hearing 25 years ago. She thought that the process of testifying would be less frightening for her child witnesses if they could meet him beforehand.

"One of the boys said to me: 'You played another game on me, Miss Martin,"' she related. "'I thought he was a black Congressman."'

Mr. Hawkins, who is light-skinned, replied: "I hope you conveyed to that young man that if I didn't look black, I at least looked like a Congressman."

The Secret Service detained three Nebraska students last month during a visit by Vice President Dan Quayle to their high school.

One student, who had rigged a cigarette lighter so that it would shoot a flame, started a small fire minutes before the Vice President was to arrive, the principal of Kearney High School told The Associated Press.

Bill Kenagy said the other students made "inappropriate" comments about Mr. Quayle, which school officials reported to the Secret Service.--j.m.

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