August 22nd: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, closing the academic achievement gap, and the opinion page looks at what's at stake for Libya's future. In the second hour, and update on Libya's effort to unseat Moammar Gadhafi, and the strengths of middle children.
NPR logo August 22nd: What's On Today's Show

August 22nd: What's On Today's Show

A portrait of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and copies of his green book are set on fire by demonstrators during a protest outside the Libyan embassy in Ankara on August 22, 2011 as Libyan rebels entered the heart of Tripoli in a final drive to oust Kadhafi. Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Academic Achievement Gap
It's a persistent and troubling problem: the gap between white students and students of color in academic achievement. There are many theories about how to resolve these disparities — from interventions with parents, additional accountability for teachers, various school programs and testing, among others. Today we'll talk about what really works, with education historian Diane Ravitch and sociologist Angel Harris.

Opinion Page
Libyan rebel forces claim that the decades long Gadhafi-era is over. Still, intense fighting has been reported in the capital, Tripoli, and other areas of the country. The rapid advance by rebels raises difficult questions about what is next for Libya, Gadhafi and the international community. In an op-ed for The Atlantic Monthly, Steve Clemons argues, "it's important that after rejoicing that a monstrous dictator is on the run that folks get serious about a playbook that will keep the hopes and aspirations of the Libyan people moving forward rather than backward." Guest host Rebecca Roberts speaks with Clemons about what's at stake for Libya's future.

Libya Update
After months of uneven progress in their effort to unseat Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, rebel forces rapidly advanced across the nation's capital, Tripoli. The rebel army has reportedly arrested at least one of Gadhafi's sons, but so far Gadhafi himself remains out of sight. While momentum has dramatically shifted in favor of the rebels, questions remain about how a final battle for Tripoli could unfold, and if — and how — the National Transitional Council can transition from a rebel force to a governing body. Host Rebecca Roberts talks with George Joffe, research fellow at the Center of International Studies at Cambridge University, about what may lie ahead for Libya.

The Advantages Of Middleborns
Middle children face any number of stereotypes: confused underachievers, overshadowed by siblings and overlooked by parents. But that characterization may be dead wrong. In a new book, University of Redlands psychology professor Catherine Salmon and journalist Katrin Schumann argue that many middleborns have hidden strengths: they are agents of change in business, politics, and science — more so than firstborns and lastborns. Guest host Rebecca Roberts talks with Salmon and Schumann about their book, The Secret Power of Middle Children.