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February 09, 1989|EDWARD J. BOYER

Rudy Castruita, Santa Ana's new school superintendent, remembers coming home from elementary school in El Monte and telling his grandparents: "Nobody speaks our language."

Castruita, 44, and his grandparents, who raised him, learned English together, and his high school teachers instilled in him the idea that he should go to college. He learned his lessons well, earning a doctorate in education at USC.

Santa Ana's school district has 40,000 students, 75% of whom are Latino. "I want kids to be the best they can be," Castruita said. "I want them to know that when it comes to limits in life, there are none."

Telemundo and Univision, the prime Spanish-language television networks in this country, are making plans to jointly commission a specialized ratings service to more accurately measure the Latino viewing audience.

Linda Ronstadt's Spanish-language album, "Canciones de Mi Padre," has been nominated for a Grammy in the "Mexican-American Performance" category. Her competitors are Flaco Jimenez, Los Tigres del Norte, Jose Javier Solis, Los Yonics, Pio Trevino and Majic, Los Bukis and Los Freddy's.

"Latin Pop" nominees include Dyango, Raphael, Jose Jose, Roberto Carlos and Jose Luis Perales.

Ruben Blades y Son del Solar head a list of nominees in the "Latin Tropical" category that includes Oscar D'Leon, Pete Escovedo, Johnny Pacheco and Pete (El Conde) Rodriguez, and Eddie Santiago.

Other Latino candidates for the awards to be presented Feb. 22 include Carlos Santana in "Rock Instrumental" and Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine in "Pop Vocal, Duo or Group."

Works by California playwrights who focus on the Chicano experience are eligible for Plaza de la Raza's one-act play competition. Entries must be submitted by March 15. Information: (213) 223-2475.

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