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Although the Academy Street School in Dover, N.J., has rules, Tina Gordon has a mission. The rules forbid teachers from taking personal days on Mondays, Fridays, or around school vacations. Ms. Gordon's mission is to run in the Boston Marathon on April 17--a Monday.

When school officials denied the special-education teacher permission to take time off for the race, Ms. Gordon resigned. Her last day will be April 10.

In her 12 years of teaching, Ms. Gordon said, she has tried to incorporate her running into lessons for her students.

"They learn to run, read, and keep in shape," she said. "They also see that with a little discipline and hard work you can make it in life.

She said she has been pleased with the support she has received since she resigned, but some of the publicity about her decision has her worried.

"There is generosity you can't believe." But, she added, "I am not choosing running over education by any means."

Emerson J. Elliott, who has served as the nation's ccommissioner of education statistics for nearly 11 years, has decided not to seek another Presidential appointment to the job. His four-year term is due to expire in June.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley last month, Mr. Elliott said that, after 38 years in the federal government, he was looking for a slower pace. "It is time to turn to other activities that will draw on what I have learned during those years, perhaps ones with a calendar I can control more effectively," he wrote.

During Mr. Elliott's tenure at the helm of the National Center for Education Statistics, Mr. Riley said, he has made "comprehensiveness, integrity, and nonpartisanship" the hallmark of the dozens of reports the agency produces annually.

The Alabama state board of education has named Deputy Superintendent Thomas E. Ingram Jr. the acting state superintendent of education. He will replace Wayne Teague, who is scheduled to retire at the end of this month.

--Adrienne D. Coles

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