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Constance E. Clayton, the superintendent of the Philadelphia public schools since 1982, has announced her retirement effective the end of this month.

Ms. Clayton, who had the longest tenure of any head of a large urban district, decided to take advantage of a state-sponsored early-retirement package.

Under the terms of the package, her pension increases in value by $7,000. Her four-year contract was to expire in 1995.

Rotan Lee, the president of the school board, praised Ms. Clayton as "the nation's most prominent superintendent of urban school districts.''

The board asked Ms. Clayton to serve as interim superintendent on a consulting basis until a successor is found.

She was the first African-American and the first woman to head the nation's sixth-largest district.

The Jefferson County, Ky., school board last week ended its search for a new school chief, offering the position to Stephen Daeschner, the superintendent of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, schools.

The board voted 6 to 1 to offer the post to Mr. Daeschner, one of three candidates considered in the last round of the search. The other finalists were Loretta Webb, an area superintendent in Fairfax County, Va., and Jerry L. Patterson, the head of the Appleton, Wis., school system.

The board came under fire during the selection process choosing semifinalists without knowing their personal characteristics or their employment history. (See Education Week, July 14, 1993.)

If Mr. Daeschner accepts the four-year contract, he would succeed Donald W. Ingwerson--who stepped down June 30--later this month, according to Lauren Brown, a spokeswoman for the district.

Huey Long has been dead more than half a century, but the Louisiana legend is scheduled to graduate from high school this month.

The Louisiana state school board last month approved an honorary degree for the colorful former Governor and U.S. Senator from Winnfield High School in his home town.

"The Kingfish'' never completed high school or college, but he passed the state bar after studying for it at two law schools. He was Governor from 1928-32 and was serving in the U.S Senate in 1935 when he was assassinated in the state Capitol.

Senator Long's son, former U.S. Sen. Russell Long, will accept the diploma on his father's behalf this month at the dedication of a political museum in Baton Rouge.

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