November 23rd show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, educating black boys, and a Taliban impostor fools NATO and Afghan officials.  In the second hour, The Barefoot Contessa, and talking with climate skeptics.
NPR logo November 23rd show

November 23rd show

Ina Garten, also known as the "Barefoot Contessa" talks about stress-free holiday cooking in our second hour. Quentin Bacon hide caption

toggle caption
Quentin Bacon

Ina Garten, also known as the "Barefoot Contessa" talks about stress-free holiday cooking in our second hour.

Quentin Bacon

Educating Black Boys
It's a story many parents and educators know too well: despite ongoing research and theories, the educational achievement of black boys and young black men continues to lag behind their white peers, nationwide. This time, it's a new report from the Council of the Great City Schools that reveals that only 12 percent of black 4th graders are reading proficient, compared with almost 40 percent of their white peers. Some schools have found innovative ways to boost achievement among African-American boys, but vast disparities persist. James Earl Davis of Temple University's College of Education, and Pedro Noguera, author of "The Trouble With Black Boys... and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education," examine what works, and why so many schools have yet to find a way to reverse the trends.

Fake Taliban
A month ago, New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins broke the news that top-level Taliban leaders were crossing from Pakistan to Afghanistan for peace talks. In some cases, the insurgents were being secured and flown by NATO troops. These talks, Filkins wrote, appeared "to represent the most substantive effort to date to negotiate an end to the nine-year-old war."  On the front page of today's New York Times, Filkins reports that the key Taliban leader in those secret talks was an impostor. Dexter Filkins talks about what we know about the impostor and what this discovery means for dealings with the Taliban.

The Barefoot Contessa
The Food Network's Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa, isn't just a foodie's chef.  She's also known for helping out novices in the kitchen.  Her mantra, How Easy Is That, is now the title of her new cookbook: a collection of tried and true techniques designed to save time and mess in the kitchen.  Today, just in time for Thanksgiving, host Neal Conan talks to Ina Garten about how she went from budget analyst to cooking impresario, and gets a few tips on how to make holiday cooking stress-free.

Climate Change
According to a 2009 Pew survey, 35 percent of Republicans see solid evidence of climate change, compared with 75 percent of Democrats. Little debate persists in the majority of the scientific community on the subject. But like many topics, partisanship has seized the debate and put the discussion off limits between many of those who disagree.  Neal Conan talks with University of Michigan environment and business professor Andrew Hoffman, who believes it's more important to address the social rift over climate change rather than rehash the science behind it.