Former Arlington County school superintendent Larry Cuban is one of three finalists being considered for the job of Boston school superintendent that was left vacant when Robert R. Spillane resigned to become head of Fairfax County schools.

Cuban, who ran the Arlington system from 1974 to 1981, is not considered the front-runner for the position, according to Ian Forman, spokesman for the Boston schools.

"It is an uphill battle for him," said Forman. "But it's very hard to say who will get it; the situation is very fluid."

A delegation from the Boston Schools Committee will visit Arlington this week to evaluate Cuban's work and reputation, Forman said.

The committee is also interviewing the other two candidates, Lavel Wilson, superintendent of Rochester, N.Y., schools and Peter Negroni, district superintendent of schools in the Bronx, and will probably name their choice by Monday, Forman said. He said both of the New York officials are believed to have an edge over Cuban. The new superintendent will serve as the chief executive of a system of 120 schools.

Cuban, who had quarreled with what then was Arlington's conservative County Board over educational issues, resigned in 1980 to teach school administration at Stanford University and work on a research project at the National Institute for Education.

"For the last four years I've been teaching; now I'd like to move back into being a superintendent," Cuban said yesterday in an interview from his office in California. "It has a challenge I like. The Boston superintendent job puts stress on improving instruction, which is one of my strengths."

"I feel the Arlington superintendency prepared me for anything in the nation. It was a very demanding and satisfying job."

Cuban's past positions include being director of staff development for the D.C. schools and working on the Cardozo Project, which trained returning Peace Corps members to teach in urban areas.