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Federal File: More rumors; Advocacy and errata; International honor

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Speculation about the identity of the next Secretary of Education continued to rage in Washington education circles last week.

One hot rumor had it that Donna E. Shalala was being consid-
ered for a different Cabinet post. Sources on President-elect Bill Clinton's transition team said the University of Wisconsin chancellor had indeed expressed interest in heading the Health and Human Services Department.

One transition source also said that Richard Riley, the former South Carolina Governor who is heading the transition's personnel operation, is one of several people on a "short list'' for the Education Department post.

The Hotline, a political newsletter, has been running frequently updated lists of individuals who have been mentioned in the media as candidates for Cabinet posts.

The newsletter currently lists four people as receiving "frequent mentions for education'': Thomas Kean, a former Republican Governor of New Jersey; Joseph A. Fernandez, the chancellor of the New York City schools; Marian Wright Edelman, the president of the Children's Defense Fund; and Ms. Shalala.

Mr. Riley is among 13 others named in the newsletter.

Many observers have speculated about whether Mr. Clinton will retain any of the Bush Administration's America 2000 education strategy, but one member of Congress has done something about it.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, sent a letter to Mr. Clinton last week asking him to resist "the professional education union lobby'' and support America 2000.

Mr. Boehner does not specify whether he refers solely to the community-action aspect of America 2000 or to the broader strategy that includes ideas Mr. Clinton opposes, notably private school vouchers.

Unfortunately, the letter also praises Mr. Clinton for his work during "the 1989 education summit in Williamsburg, Va.,'' which actually took place in Charlottesville.

For the first time in the memory of longtime Education Department employees, an E.D. official has addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

Robert R. Davila, the assistant secretary for the office of special education and rehabilitative services, spoke recently to mark the close of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.

Mr. Davila, who is deaf, outlined the nation's progress in improving access and services for people with disabilities. J.M. & D.V.

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