Education: An Educational Election

While swamping Richard Nixon in the California election last week, Governor Pat Brown saw another Democrat get licked in an equally fascinating fight for the nominally nonpolitical job of state superintendent of public instruction. The winner was a formidable, get-back-to-fundamentals conservative: zesty Max Rafferty, 46, onetime superintendent of schools in a Los Angeles suburb, whose recent book, Suffer, Little Children, argues in rococo prose that progressive education has led to "slobbism," and who calls for a spartan return to ''sweat, service and sacrifice.''

The job Rafferty won is a kind of organizational short circuit. California's state board of education, which sets policy,...

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