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The Atlanta school board last week chose Benjamin O. Canada as the district's new superintendent.

Mr. Canada has served as superintendent of the Jackson, Miss., school system for the past four years.

While head of the Jackson schools, he helped that district pass a watershed bond referendum in 1991 but more recently watched some of his support erode as he proposed deep budget cuts and became enmeshed in a controversy over school prayer. (See Education Week, June 12, 1991, and May 4, 1994).

Mr. Canada will be paid $150,000 a year.

He succeeds Lester W. Butts, who announced his retirement from the Atlanta post last winter.

New Contract in Los Angeles: Superintendent Sidney A. Thompson of the Los Angeles school district received a new contract last week that will extend his tenure in the district to 1997.

The contract contains a number of performance standards, including raising student achievement and making schools safer, that will be used to evaluate the superintendent.

The agreement also calls for Mr. Thompson, who will be paid $141,000 a year, to insure that within three years every school becomes part of an ongoing reform effort that gives more decisionmaking authority to principals and school communities.

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