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Top brass substitutes, Soviet kids, De-wheeling debtors

The San Diego public schools are considering a substitute plan for substitute teachers. Supervisors face a return to the classroom when regular teachers are absent. The plan would require nonteaching administrators to fill in for up to five days per school year. Although no dollar figure has been projected, savings on substitute teacher compensation ''will be considerable,'' officials say.

An added benefit, it is hoped, is a greater rapport among regular teachers and administrators, especially those from the central office, as both face classroom situations.

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Charles Donnelly, a high school teacher in Georgetown, Iowa, has just returned from the Soviet Union, where he visited a Soviet school in Tashkent. He reports that the rigid formal discipline he had expected was not in evidence: ''Little kids went down the corridor banging each other with their briefcases, just as they do in other countries of the world.''

The National Education Association is making a bid to publish the largest-circulation newspaper for educators. NEA Today, its new in-house tabloid, has a potential readership of 1.7 million readers just within the association membership. The paper, to appear eight times each school year, will cover both organizational news and feature stories concentrating on instructional issues and techniques.

Seventy-five percent of this year's kindergarten class in the Los Angeles public schools, the nation's second largest system, is Mexican-American.

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