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Federal File: Ins and outs; Maybe next year; E.D. efficiency

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America's top students appear to be unimpressed with President Clinton, and more than half do not know who Richard W. Riley is.

In a survey of 3,177 high achievers conducted by Who's Who Among American High School Students, 83 percent declared Mr. Clinton "out" as opposed to "in." And 78 percent said the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is "out."

The Clintons joined Conan O'Brien, the host of a late-night talk show, and the singer Madonna in the "out" category. But 55 percent declared the television-cartoon characters Beavis and Butt-head to be "in."

Asked to identify Mr. Riley, 45 percent of the students correctly said that he is the Secretary of Education. But 18 percent identified him as the House majority leader in Congress, 11 percent thought he was the mayor of Los Angeles, and about 7 percent identified him as the American air commander during Operation Desert Storm. It is unclear whether students were offered these four choices or if the question was open-ended.

It looks as though members of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans will have to wait until next month for a photo opportunity with the President.

The 25 commissioners originally had thought Mr. Clinton was going to swear them in on Sept. 23, but neither Mr. Clinton nor Vice President Gore was available. So the rather disgruntled commissioners were sworn in via affidavit. (See Education Week, 10/05/94.)

The commissioners were to have had a formal ceremony during their meeting scheduled for Dec. 2-3, but the President was again booked.

Mr. Clinton's schedule "was definitely a factor" in the postponement of the meeting until sometime next month, said Alfred R. Ramirez, the commission's executive director. But, he noted, commissioners were also busy with other events.

Vice President Gore last week honored the Education Department for "streamlining the process" for grant applications under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act.

The Goals 2000 team was among several groups recognized at a ceremony celebrating the type of improved efficiency Mr. Gore's "reinventing government" initiative strives for.

--Mark Pitsch, Lynn Schnaiberg, & JULIE A. MILLER

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